The week-long Onam celebrations ‘Athaghosham’ in Tripunithura, will be conducted from August 21 to August 27.
To mark the start of the festivities, the representatives of the Cochin royal family will receive the ‘Atham’ flag from Tripunithura Hill Palace, on August 20. The flag will then be brought to the Tripunithura Boys’ School grounds (Atham Nagar), where the Attham procession will commence the next day. On ‘Atham’ day, in the Malayalam month of Chingam (Leo), the ‘Tripunithura Athaghosham 2012’ will be formally inaugurated by Speaker G Karthikeyan, at Attham Nagar. Excise Minister K Babu will preside over the function which will commence at 9 am.
The customary Onam message will be delivered by Minister for Tourism A P Anil Kumar, while Food and Civil Supples Minister Anoop Jacob will hoist the ‘Atham’ flag. After the inauguration, the Attham Procession will begin from ‘Atham Nagar’ at 10 am.
Speaking on the tradition of the Atham processsion, Raman Namboothiri, a 90-year-old member of the royal familysays this ancient procession was based on the custom wherein the king journeyed with his entourage, to the Tripunithura Fort. “It was customary for the king to travel to the Tripunithura Fort and pay a visit to the Thrikkakkara Vamana Moorthy Temple. This was also an occasion for his subjects to greet the king and watch him at close quarters,” he elaborated.
“Representatives of Muslims (Nettoor Thangal), Christians (Karingachira Kathanar), a representative of the fishing community (Chembil Arayan), among others, accompanied the king,” he said.
With the formation of the state of Kerala, the people of Tripunithura took over the ‘Atthaghosham’ celebrations.
Meanwhile Tripunithura Municipal Chairman R Venugopal said that more than 5,000 artists will participate in the Attham procession, which will be followed by a cultural evening.
The Athapookalam competition will begin at Ceon auditorium at 11 am.
A ghazal show by Devi Menon has also been arranged, at 7.30pm. Various other competitions and programmes in connection with the festivities will continue till August 27 at Layam Ground.