Onam Festival is synonymous with the state of Kerala and its people, and all Keralites are in their midst of grand celebrations today, which actually commenced from September 1st onwards.
A dance form that is unique to Kerala is the dance style Kathakali, meaning: story depiction through play.
This classical dance drama has its origin in ancient martial arts of Kerala, where the participant's facial muscles, movement of eyeballs and eyebrows and lower eyelids are used prominently. The acting has to conform to words sung by accompanying musicians.
Kathakali artistes are noted for their attractive make-up, and their elaborate and colourful costumes. Body movements are robust and in tune to anchor playback singers and percussion instrumentalists.
Epic characters of Ramayana and Mahabharata, like Krishna, have crowns on their heads adorned with peacock feathers (see photograph).
The Kathakali dances are staged during the Onam celebrations in rural Kerala in a big way as they provide the masses with entertainment and also education.
Onam is a time to rejoice and celebrate a good harvest and the home-coming of Benevolent King Mahabali who ruled the land in times past!
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