BASINGSTOKE'S growing Malayali community is coming together to celebrate the vibrant and culturally rich festival of Onam.

Malayalis are a community of people native to the southern Indian state of Kerala.

Onam is a traditional and widely celebrated harvest festival in Kerala. It falls during the Kerala month of Chingam (August to September) and marks the homecoming of legendary King Mahabali.

Basingstoke Malayali Cultural Association (BMCA), which has more than 600 members, is organising the Onam celebration on Saturday, September 30 at Aldworth School.

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Vegetarian food served on banana leaves, as well as cultural performances, games and music, will take place.

The event will be held from 10am to 5pm. People can attend the event for £12 per adult and £8 per child.

There will be a mega thiruvathira dance with 60 members as part of the celebration. Thiruvathira is a traditional Kerala dance performed by women and is characterised by its graceful and rhythmic movements.

BMCA started in 2007 and this is its 15th edition of Onam celebration.

The annual event is expected to see more than 300 people attend, said Sumesh Kumaran Nair, a programme committee member.

Cllr Arun Mummalaneni, Cllr Sajish Tom and Dr Aji Peter are the chief guests.