Participants pose for a photo with a colourful floral arrangement called Athappookkalam.

It was a joyous and colourful celebration of a traditional harvest festival for some 300
mostly Malayalee Catholics recently.

Organised by the Archdiocesan Commission for Malayalam Apostolate, the Onam celebration was held at the Catholic Archdiocesan Education Centre on Sept 1.

Onam marks the summer harvest and is a major annual event for Malayalee Indians in and outside Kerala, southern
India.

The local celebration began with a speech by Fr Salim Joseph, chaplain of the Malayalam Catholic community in Singapore, followed by a lamp-lighting ceremony.

There were stage performances such as Thiruvathira, a folk dance performed by women, and Chenda melam, a
traditional Kerala percusion performance.

Participants also made a colourful floral arrangement on the ground, called the Athappookkalam.

There were also outdoor activities such as Kaserakali (musical chairs) and a tug-of-war for different age groups.

Participants also enjoyed a special vegetarian meal served on banana leaves.

Lamp-lighting ceremony.


Participants enjoying a vegetarian meal.

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