Muscat: Expatriates from the South Indian state of Kerala, who form half of the Indian expatriate community in Oman, are fully geared up to celebrate their harvest festival, Onam.
The celebrations are better and bigger this time as the most important day of the festival, Thiruvonam, falls on Wednesday. "It came at the perfect time as we are enjoying the nine-day Eid Al Adha holidays," said Rahul Parameshwaran, a resident in Muscat.
From supermarkets and shopping centres, to restaurants and jewellery shops, hundreds of commercial outlets, mainly those catering to the Indian community, have come up with various Onam offers and plans.
Keralites, or Malayalees as they are also known, are flooding the stores to make purchases for the festival which is celebrated by all members of the community irrespective of their religion. "The shopping malls are all crowded as people are making their last minute Onam shopping," said Purushothaman.K, a resident in Muttrah.
Onam is celebrated to mark the mythical homecoming of King Mahabali, during whose reign the state known as ‘God’s Own Country’ is said to have witnessed the golden era. People of Kerala welcome the king in a symbolic way by arranging flower carpets and with traditional dances and games so as to give him the impression that they are happy as in his time.