More than 500 turned up to celebrate Onam at Forum North, a vibrant and colourful festival honoured at a state level in the South Indian state of Kerala.

The event on Thursday evening, organised by the Whangarei Malayalee Association, featured a variety of dances and 21 vegetarian dishes served on a banana leaf as is done in Kerala.

Association president Shaji Cherian said after there was demand for tickets after more than 420 had already been sold prior to the event.

Young and old wowed the crowd with songs and dance, including semi-classical dances, and plays before and after dinner.

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More than 500 people from Kerala live in Northland, with the bulk living in Whangarei.

Northern Advocate reporter Imran Ali was at Onam and snapped these photos.

Ragnat Poulose, holding a baby doll, leading a dance performance on stage.
Ragnat Poulose, holding a baby doll, leading a dance performance on stage.
Sneha Thomas wows the crowd with a solo semi classical dance.
Sneha Thomas wows the crowd with a solo semi classical dance.
Primary school-aged girls were all smiles as they took to the stage for a dance item.
Primary school-aged girls were all smiles as they took to the stage for a dance item.
Elna Babu leads a group of entertainers in front of the crowd post dinner.
Elna Babu leads a group of entertainers in front of the crowd post dinner.