The devastating Kerala floods that took away the lives of nearly 240 people since August 8 have dampened the spirits of Onam 2018, the harvest festival of the state. With over 10 lakh people still in relief camps and at least 50,000 houses fully or partially damaged by the floods, Onam, a 10-day long festival, is a quiet affair in the state this year.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged the people to celebrate the festival by helping those who are suffering due to the ravaging floods, which he called "the worst disaster in the state's history."
Mr Vijayan tweeted, "Let's celebrate this Onam by bringing help to those among us who are suffering. More than a million of our people are in relief camps. We have together survived the worst disaster in our state's history. Let us also set an example in rebuilding efforts."
"Let's celebrate this #Onam by bringing help to those among us who are suffering. More than a million of our people are in relief camps. We have together survived the worst disaster in our State's history. Let us also set an example in rebuilding efforts." - CM Pinarayi Vijayan pic.twitter.com/57O4MTKRfQ- CMO Kerala (@CMOKerala) August 24, 2018
Onam 2018 dates are from August 15 to August 25. Considered the state's harvest festival, 'Onam' falls in the beginning of Chingam, the first month of Malayalam Calendar and is celebrated all over the state by people across communities.
Elaborate feasts (Onam sadya), folk songs, dances and boat races mark the annual festival. This time, however, the flood-affected families have decided against any Onam 2018 celebrations.