Bathukamma is the colorful festival of Telangana celebrated by women every year with flowers that are grown in that region. Bathukamma festival has been a part of Telangana’s cultural identity for a long time.
Importance of Telangana Bathukamma festival
The festival Bathukamma is celebrated during the latter half of the monsoon before the winter. As the monsoon rain brings plenty of water into the freshwater pond of Telangana and the flowers blossom in various vibrant colors across the uncultivated and barren plains in Telangana, Bathukamma is celebrated usually at this time. Out of many different varieties of flowers, the most abundant are Gunuku Poolu and Thangedu Poolu.
The festival is usually celebrated a week before the grand Saddula Bathukamma which falls 2 days before Dussehra. During these days, women get dressed up in traditional clothes and the processions were carried out in Telangana during the Navratri. Bathukamma festival begins on the day of Mahalaya Amavasya and it continues for 9 days until the end of Durgashtami.
The word Bathukamma means mother goddess come alive and the festival represents the cultural spirit of Telangana symbolizing womanhood. This festival is also considered the spring festival of Goddess Gauri. During this festival, a beautiful flower made out of various vibrant colorful flowers is arranged outside the temple to worship the Goddess.
During the first five days of the festival, women clean their houses and cow dung is mixed with water and spread throughout the ground base. After that, the courtyard is decorated with rangoli made of rice flour. Men in the house gather flowers from wild plants like the Celosia, Senna, marigold, Chrysanthemum, Indian lotus, etc.
Decorating a house with Rangoli and collecting flowers to prepare Bathukamma is traditional folk art. Women start preparing Bathukamma in the afternoon during these days. The various varieties of flowers are arranged on a wide plate called Thambulam. Folk songs are sung to invoke the blessings of various Goddesses during the festival.
During the festival, every day Naivedyam food is offered to the Goddess. Most of the Naivedyam offered to the Goddess are very easy to prepare. And usually, the women and children are mainly involved in the preparation of the Naivedyam offered to the Goddess for the first eight days of the festival.
The last day of the festival is called Saddula Bathukamma. The names of each day of the festival and the Naivedyam offered on particular days are mentioned below.
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9 Days Names of Bathukamma Festival
Engili Pula Bathukamma
This is the first day of the festival that falls on Mahalaya Amavasya also known as Pethara Amavasya in Telangana. On this day Nuvvulu sesame seeds with Biyyam Pindi rice flour or Nookalu coarsely ground wet rice is offered as Naivedyam.
The second day of the festival is called Atkula Bathukamma which falls on the Padyami (first day) of Ashwayuja Masam. On this day, Sappidi Pappu (boiled lentils), Bellam (jaggery), and Atukulu (flattened parboiled rice) are offered as Naivedyam.
It is the third day of the festival that falls on Vidiya (second day) of Ashwayuja Masam. Softened boiled lentils, milk, and jaggery are offered as Naivedyam.
It is the fourth day of the festival that falls on the Thadiya (fourth day) of Aswwayuja Masam. Wet rice, milk, and jaggery are offered to the goddess as Naivedyam.
It is the fifth day of the festival that falls on the Chathurthi (fourth day) of the Aswwayuja Masam. Pancakes made from wheat or Dosa are offered as Naivedyam to the goddess.
It is the sixth day of the festival that falls on the Panchami (fifth day) of Aswayuja Masam. No food offering is usually made to the goddess on this day.
It is the seventh day of the festival that falls on the Sashti (sixth) day of Aswwayuja Masam. Rice flour shaped into neem tree fruits is offered as Naivedyam to the goddess.
Venna Muddala Bathukamma
It is the eighth day of the festival that falls on the Saptami (seventh day) of Ashwayuja Masam. Sesame, Butter or ghee, and jaggery are offered as Naivedyam.
It is the ninth day of the Bathukamma festival celebrated on the Ashtami (eighth day) of Ashwayuja Masam. This day of the festival also coincides with the Durgashtami. On this day, five types of cooked rice dishes like curd rice, tamarind rice, lemon rice, coconut rice, and sesame rice are offered as Naivedyam to the Goddess.
On the final day of the festival, the Bathukamma Idol is submerged in water bodies and is celebrated with utmost devotion with drum beats throughout Telangana. A symbolic Idol of Gauri made out of turmeric is taken back from Bathukamma before immersing in water. This turmeric is applied by every married woman to protect their husband and family from all evils and illnesses.
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