THANE: With the women dressed in their traditional off-white Kasavu sarees adorned with the golden borders and the men in ‘Mundu,’, over 10,000 families from the lake city assembled at the Vishnu temples on Wednesday to mark the beginning of the festival of Thiruvonam.
Legend has it that Mahabali, the wise, generous king, who ruled Kerala for many years, had granted three wishes to Lord Vishnu, who had taken the Vaman avatar. Vishnu took two steps and conquered the entire Earth and the sky. When realized who he was, the king asked the god to step on his head. Pleased with Mahabali, Vishnu gave him permission to visit his land once a year, that day being Thiruvonam, popularly known as .

From preparing aplenty of culinary delights and enjoying the feast laid on the banana leaves to decorating their verandas with flower rangolis called Pookalams, the community although far away from home is leaving no stones unturned to celebrate the 10 day festival.

Shreelatha Menon, a resident of Kolshet said, “For us Onam is like . The occasion not only marks the arrival of king Mahabali in Kerala, but also symbolizes the onset of the harvest period for rice. Since Kerala is rich in floral diversity, it is a ritual to prepare rangoli out of fresh flowers. We also visit temples and chant the god’s names. Idols made out of mud are even kept at the main entrance of the house which depicts the arrival of Lord Vishnu.”

Out of the 10 days, particularly important is the first day and the last, claimed the worshipers.

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