Keralites across the state are celebrating Onam, the renowned harvest festival, on Wednesday (September 11) with traditional fervour and gaiety.

People wear traditional attire and offer prayers at temples, while the day is marked with feast and festivities, including cultural programmes organised by various institutions.

Heavy rush is witnessed at temples, including at the famous hill shrine of Lord Ayappa at Sabarimala, Sree Krishna Temple at Guruvayur and Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram.

People thronged the markets till late on Tuesday night to buy their favourite items for Onam celebrations. Long queues were seen at the fair-price shops opened by State Civil Supplies Corporation, Horticorp and Consumerfed, as part of government efforts to control spiralling prices in the open market.

Also read: Happy Onam: Here's everything you need to know about Kerala's most popular festival

Celebrations have begun with music and dance performances.

Onam is celebrated to honour demon king Mahabali, who according to legend ruled the state once, under whom the people were equal, prosperous and happy. People believe that on Thiruvonam day, Lord Vishnu in his fifth avatar as Vamana, appeared in the kingdom of King Mahabali and sent him to the netherworld. Legend has it that it was on this particular day the spirit of king Mahabali visits the people of Kerala.