Kozhikode city is witnessing many protest marches these days.However,this evening the city pals came across a variety protest with Chenda and Onapottans who marched from Malabar Christian College premise to Mofusil bus stand.
It was organized by Malaya-Pana Samudaya Samrakshana Samithy.
This backward community people alleged that BJP workers had beaten Onappottan at Nadapuram during Onam celebrations. Onappottan is a traditional art form conceptualizing Mahabali visit in Kadathanadu villages surrounded the areas of Vatakara and nearby Taluks.
Onappottan is a popular figure ,signifying Mahabali in North Malabar’s Onam festival. Onappottan visits houses and residents receive the ‘silent’ man with Nirapara ( Para-grain measuring vessel) Nira-Full)and Nilavilakku (Ceremonial Lamp). He blesses the entire family with flowers.Thiruvonam day people belong to Malaya community ,after 10 days fasting appear in as Mahabali and visit households to bless his citizens;a recollection of the good old days of Mahabali regime in Kerala.
Onappottan is the rare folklore performance during the Onam day.
Northern part of Kozhikode is the centre of Onappottan, symbolizing the great old king Mahabali, who ruled Kerala in the old century.
Onapottan, with his traditional crown (thalakkuda) made of panayola (leave of palm tree) and red attire with a bell in his right hand visits every house in the village. A folk of kids follows him during his walk.
Mother in the house welcome the ‘king’ with lighted lamp (Nilavilakku) and offer him gifts in cash and kind. The ‘king’ blesses the community for a prosperous life throughout the year. Members of the Malaya tribe are engaged in this performance since decades. As modern way changes, local arts and sports clubs and other groups take part in this art form.
Onam has become a time of nostalgic celebration in gulf countries too where Keralites join in groups and organize various events, to celebrate Onam the Middle East way.