Messages have been pouring in on the occasion of Onam from all over India. In a message to Indians at home and abroad, president Kovind said, “On the auspicious occasion of Onam, I extend my greetings and best wishes to all fellow citizens, especially the brothers and sisters of Kerala living in India and abroad”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday greeted people on the occasion of Onam. He tweeted, "Best wishes on the special occasion of Onam, a festival associated with positivity, vibrancy, brotherhood and harmony. I pray for everyone's good health and wellbeing."
“On this occasion, let us all resolve to move forward unitedly towards progress and prosperity of our country,” the president was quoted as having said in a statement issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said while extending his greetings to the citizens on Onam.
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, Chief Minister Pinnarayi Vijayan, his counterpart in Tamil Nadu M K Stalin and others on Friday extended Onam greetings to Keralites.
The Governor, in a series of tweets, said the celebration of Onam rekindles a life of equality, oneness and prosperity.
"The celebration of Onam rekindles the splendid legacy of a life of equality, oneness and prosperity, filling minds and homes with the celestial joy of festivity. I sincerely wish that the melody, beauty and sparkle of Onam spread across the globe as Kerala's unique message of love, equality and harmony," he said.
The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister wished Keralites by saying Onam is a great symbol of love.
"I extend my greetings to the Malayalees living in Tamil Nadu and in Kerala on Onam which is a great symbol of love and the spirit of giving, and wish them all prosperity," Stalin said in his message.
Vijayan said every year Onam grants people the hope and energy to overcome life's hurdles and difficulties.
"Every year, Onam grants us the hope and energy to overcome life's hurdles and difficult times. Let this Onam, too, fill us with renewed hope and unite us. Let us uphold the values of equality, peace and fraternity and move forward together for a brighter future. Wishing Thiruvonam Day greetings to everyone!" he said in a message.
Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly VD Satheesan said the COVID-19 pandemic has dulled the festive occasion which usually brims with celebrations and togetherness.
"We are celebrating yet another Onam amid many complications. This Onam, I greet all of you with the hope of a better tomorrow and wish for the return of the old charming Onam season soon," he said.
Keralites across the world on Saturday celebrated Onam, a festival connected with the return of Asura (demon) King Mahabali, under whose reign everyone lived in happiness and equality.
According to folklore, envious of his popularity, the Devas (Gods) sought the help of Lord Vishnu to get him banished into the netherworld but before going down, Mahabali secured a boon from Vishnu to visit his subjects every year on Thiruvonam Day, which this year falls on August 21.
The demon king's annual visit is celebrated by Keralites, who lay their front yards with floral carpets, wear new clothes and prepare a sumptuous feast. (With PTI inputs)