Kerala all set to welcome harvest season

August 16th, 2008 - 1:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 16 (IANS) Fairs, marriages and feasts - there will be all this and more in the coming weeks in Kerala as the Chingam month of the Malayalam calendar, which heralds the harvest season, begins sunday. Chingam was particularly important in the past when agriculture was the principal vocation since it came soon after the monsoon. Today, with agricultural activities taking a back seat, the festival of Onam is the highlight of the month.

“Since Chingam comes after the rain-drenched month of Karkidakam, during which no activity takes place, in the past the arrival of Chingam saw a lot of activity in the fields. Now Chingam basically means the arrival of Onam and shopping is the only major activity,” said Droupathy Nair, a retired college professor.

During Chingam, most Hindus start their day by going to the temple. The month is considered auspicious for marriages and starting new ventures. Onam will be celebrated in the second week of September.

“We get a large number of orders during Chingam. I will be extremely busy with marriage and housewarming ceremonies from tomorrow (Sunday) onwards,” said Sam Thomas of a catering company here.

The Kerala government is planning to organise special fairs - where provisions and vegetables will be available at prices lower than the open market.

Leading newspapers in the state have planned extra supplements during the month in the hope of increasing their circulation.

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