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Onam, Kerala

Onam, Kerala's most important festival, heralds the harvest season. Onam lasts 10 days and people wear new clothes, visit temples and offer prayers. Girls perform the Kaikottikkali in the open, dancing around the traditional brass lamp. Major attractions are the famed snake boat races along the backwaters at Champakulam, Aranmula and Kottayam. About a hundred oarsmen in each boat row huge and graceful odee (snake boats) to the rhythm of drums and cymbals and songs praising Mahabalis reign. Cultural festivities are held throughout the state at different venues.

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