New Delhi: Spruced up homes, colourful floral designs and delicacies on the platter - the Malayali community in the national capital celebrated Onam with feasting and fervour on Wednesday.

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There are over two lakh Malayalis in the National Capital Region. The highlight of this harvest festival is the traditional 27-course "sadhya" (feast)."The preparations begin days before Onam.

There is vegetable curry, sweet payasam and various other delicacies," said Gayathri Srinivasan, a resident of Mayur Vihar in east Delhi.

The dishes are served on a banana leaf in the traditional way. To herald the new season, courtyards are graced with colourful "pookalams" or floral designs.On Onam it is widely believed that Kerala's mythological king Mahabali, known for his benevolence, comes to visit his people and ensure their well-being and prosperity.

Malayali cultural bodies and community associations in the city had begun the festivities a few days ago, holding elaborate traditional feasts, "pookalam" competitions and music concerts.

Onam falls in the month of Chingam, the first month of the Malayalam calendar. Thiruvonam, the most important day in the Onam calendar, falls Aug 29.The Onam week began Aug 26 and ends Aug 31.

(Agencies)

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