KING Maveli returned for the Onam celebration in Redditch on Saturday as the town’s Kerala Cultural Association celebrated its annual harvest festival.
Around 200 people from KCA and were joined by many guests including borough Mayor Jenny Wheeler, her consort Steve and the leader of Redditch council Councillor Bill Hartnett.
The event, held at Woodfield Academy, was marked by flower arrangements called Pookkalam, a traditional dance by children, women – and this year men dressed as girls.
The festival also encourages excellence in youngsters and the Mayor and Coun Hartnett handed out prizes for sporting achievement and academic success.
A key feature of the event is a vegetarian lunch served on banana leaf and consisting of 22 delicious items, traditionally eaten with your fingers.
Onam is the biggest and most important festival of the Malyalees, a harvest festival which according to legend, is visited by King Maveli whose spirit descends on Kerala at this time.
A day of joy, the people put on for the first time unworn traditional clothes to greet the arrival of King Maveli and to celebrate Onam.