Onam, a religious festival is mostly celebrated in the Southern region in India but it never overwhelms the whole country. It is celebrated according to the Malayali calendar, the month of Chingam, and begins the Malayalam year, called Kolla Varsham. The 10 days long festival in Kerala is starting today. This eventually helps the economy to have a better streamline of prosperity.
Kerala has been hailed as a model state in India to combat the pandemic, though the number of cases is still surging, will be another example for the economy now. Even in the last year, during Onam, the state received an efflux of liquidity amid a pandemic.
Impact on the gold business
During Onam, significantly the demand for gold increases in the Southern region. It is a similar trend of Dhanteras when the states of gold increase on a large scale in the Northern states in India. Both of these festivals have auspicious religious aspects, that never fail to encourage the gold jewellery market. Mostly the demand for physical gold is influenced during these times. With the launch of new festival designs and offers, jewellery makers in India stay busy in Onam. As the huge amount of liquidity is involved in this business, it is expected to give both the online and offline markets a better outlook.
Additional economic activities
To celebrate Onam migrant laborers of the Southern state come back to their hometowns and native villages during this time of the year. Kerala is a state that invites one of the highest numbers of migrant laborers across the country, similarly, from this state, a considerable number of workers go abroad in search of work with better wages. As the workers coming back home it boosts the transportation and other related sectors to some extent.
During Onam, women of the region wear Kasavu sarees, perform dance or Thumbi Thullal, draw flower rangolis, or pookkalam. This leaves a considerably significant impact on the apparel or the textile industry and the horticulture sector.
Impact on the tourism sector
Vast landscapes and beautiful cultural activities attract photographers and other tourists in Kerala during this period. In the time of Onam, native people of Kerala perform boat races that are called Vallam Kali, Tiger dances or Pulikali, Tug of War, Mask dance called Kummattikali, martial arts called Onathallu. Folk songs of Kerala to honor King Mahabali is another attraction. Tourists reach Kerala to experience these. It is common knowledge that the tourism sector in India has been struggling since last year, yet the union government did not utter enough words to encourage the sector, no financial infusion has been announced. But these festivals like Onam will at any price attract tourists across India and the globe. This is expected to offer Kerala an additional economic bonanza.
With these cultural activities, the Southern states have never failed to amaze with their offerings of good. Onam celebrates the harvest of Kerala. Although Southern-regional foods are now available everywhere in the country food-lovers are not mostly happy with that. So, Onam is another opportunity to taste authentic native foods of Kerala that attract them even more. The traditional Onam Sadya (feast) is one of the most popular food among everything. It is a 9 course meal consisting of 26 dishes is served on banana leaves during Onam. It offers sweet potato and yam coconut curry dish, white gourd prepared in coconut curry, seasonal vegetables in coconut curry, a dish made of chickpeas, a soup-like dish made with tomato and desserts, etc. This is certainly a good time considering economic activities for both the tourism and restaurant business in the state.
Kerala's economy has suffered a Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) loss of Rs. 1,56,041 crore during 2020-21 according to the Budget Estimate 2020-21. The festival will increase the consumer appetite which is essential now for the pandemic-hit state. Kerala has also tightened Covid protocols during Onam to avoid a further rise in cases, as experienced in the last year.