A vibrant South Indian festival complete with dance and food will be celebrated in Whangarei this weekend.

More than 200 people from Whangarei's south Indian Malayalee are preparing to host the annual Onam festival at the Forum North on Saturday.

A variety of dances, food served on banana leaves and indoor games are in store and everyone is invited.

Kerala is a popular tourist destination for its yoga, ayurvedic treatments and tropical greenery in southwest India.


Known as the harvest festival, it is celebrated with much joy and fanfare all over the state of Kerala.

King Mahabali, who, according to popular legend, is believed to visit Kerala at the time of Onam, will be honoured at the festival in Whangarei.

The event is from 6pm to 10pm and tickets are $25.

Onam marks the summer harvest and is celebrated with numerous festivities including boat races, flower arrangements, tug of war, women's and mask dances, and martial arts.

There are more than 200 people from Kerala residing in Northland, with the bulk living in Whangarei.

Contact whangareimalayaleeassociation@gmail.com for more information.