Kummatti Kali during Onam
Onam, the annual ten-day harvest festival of Kerala, is one of the best times to visit the state. God’s Own Country comes alive in these ten days that start with the Athachamayam and end with Thiru Onam celebrations. And to promote this side of Kerala – fun, vibrant and full of life – the Kerala Tourism Department is preparing for a new initiative as part of its larger Responsible Tourism initiative. The initiative, which will include special programs and packages, will aim to educate foreign and Indian tourists about Onam festivities and rituals, and bring more of them to experience the thrill of Onam in Kerala. ALSO READ: Onam Celebration in Kerala: Where to Go for the Best Festival Experience
The initiative is called Nattinpurangalil Onam Unnam, Onasammanangal Vangam, which translates to ‘Let’s feast in the villages and gift each other Onam gifts’. It will allow visitors to experience the festival games of Onam, and of course have the delicious Onam Sadhya feast. According to the department, the initiative will also bring responsible tourism operators and small businesses run by locals into the fold. Families will also get the opportunity to invite and host tourists into their homes for a homemade, traditional Onam feast.
The project has been designed to promote local hotels, tea shops, organic vegetables, local textiles and handicrafts, and local produce. The Onam programs will be a pilot phase, and the department plans to extend it in later days as well. The packages, named Onam Life Experience and Onam Village Tours, will run from INR 2,000 to INR 8,000, and come with assured Onam gifts for the tourists. The new packages will give you the chance to celebrate Onam in the traditional way, in the villages of Kerala. CHECK OUT: Onam 2017 in India: Best Cities in India to Have a Delicious Onam Sadhya Feast
Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said, “The programme will have Onam packages for tourists by integrating small enterprises being run by the local community and responsible tourism units.” He added that the program could provide a sizeable income to local tourism businesses as well as small merchants and traditional artistes. As for the other side, Tourism Secretary P Balakiran said that it could help tourists see and experience Kerala’s tradition and legacy.