Happy Harvest Fest, Kerala.

Posted by RR Staff

Aria at RR's Onam floral display

Aria at RR’s Onam floral display

It’s a very exciting weekend here in Kerala. Onam, a harvest festival, is celebrated all over the state regardless of caste & creed during the month of Chingam (01st month of the year in the Malayalam calendar).

In our homes, we Indians (Keralites) have a great feast like westerners have on Christmas day.  But the feast is different, as we have all vegetarian dishes rather than turkey.  The feast is called ‘Sadhya’, with a variety of about 16 dishes and then to top it all, we have the signature dish – the dessert called ‘payasam’ (3 types) also.

Most of the people (Hindus) go to the temple in the morning.  The kids go to pluck flowers from the surrounding areas near their homes and they make a flower carpet (Atthapookalam).  Children are very happy because they are the ones that benefit a lot by getting new clothes & gifts.

In Raheem Residency, we also celebrate Onam. The staff make the flower carpet & also a great feast is prepared with a variety of vegetarian dishes & payasam also. All the staff sit together, and enjoys the feast.

We include guests too in Chagara Restaurant but there is one golden rule : guests must eat like we do – that is, with no cutlery! We believe that the food tastes better when we quietly use our fingers. Our guests always enjoy the challenge.

So we take this opportunity to wish all our readers a Happy & Prosperous Onam wherever you are in the world.

Onam decorations in an Alleppey shop

Onam decorations in an Alleppey shop





Local life in Alleppey


The town of Alleppey (Alappuzha in Malayalam language) is criss-crossed by a network of canals – a bit like the symmetry of Manhattan at a push. In earlier days it was called the Venice of the East. Now that makes me cringe. But I would certainly go with the Venice of India.

The canal (above) is around the corner from our hotel. And it is on canals like these that you will take your houseboat cruise – a mini floating hotel with your private local staff of three gliding you through serene swaying palms with glimpses of real village life as you cruise by.

A Kerala houseboat


Pic happy man

A happy man but what does he sell? You can ask him if you come visit. He’s not a million miles away from the hotel! But I don’t think you’ll be shopping with him somehow



Strong-looking lady in her colourful sari at the local market selling coconuts for countless Kerala dishes.

Pics by our chef Ananthu A. & senior steward Phillip J.