Telangana floral festival Bathukamma venerates both divine & nature
Telangana\'s floral festival, Bathukamma, is an occasion for veneration of both the divine and the nature and celebration of womanhood as well.
Warangal: Telangana's floral festival, Bathukamma, is an occasion for veneration of both the divine and the nature and celebration of womanhood as well.
The festival bonds together humankind and divinity through nature with a seamless blend of religious and environmental facets. Flowers being the main central point of the festivities, it is a most colourful festival of all and most appealing one for womenfolk.
The celebration of the nine-day festival, which is the State festival, commences on Bhadrapada Amavasya, also known as Mahalaya Amavasya, celebrated as per Telugu calendar and the women and girls eagerly wait for this day in the year. This year it falls on September 20 (Wednesday).
The legend says that king Daksha performed a ‘yagna’ and invited all except his youngest daughter ‘Gauri’ for marrying Lord Siva against his wish. Nonetheless, Gauri decides to attend the yagna along with her husband. Her father insults the couple.
Unable to bear it Gauri then kills herself. Women present there make an image with turmeric paste and worship her urging her to come back to life. And thus, the tradition of Bathukamma is said be born. In local lore, it is a sacred celebration wherein women seek intercession of Goddess Kali to bless their children with long life.
In the nine-day celebration, each day has a specific name based on the way of worship and offering made to the deity Gauramma. They are Engili pula Bathukamma, Atukula Bathukamma, Muddapappu Bathukamma, Nanabiyyam Bathukamma, Atla Bathukamma, Aligina Bathukamma, Vepakayala Bathukamma, Vennamuddala Bathukamma and Saddula Bathukamma.
The ninth day of Bathukamma is celebrated on ashtami/eighth day of Ashwayuja masam and coincides with Durgashtami, two days before Vijaya Dasami. Goddess Gauri the patron goddess of Bathukamma and a ‘Life Giver’ is worshipped during the nine days.
The women collect all the flowers that blooms in the season such as cassia (thangedu), celosia (gunugu), nelumbo (thamara), luffa (beera), cucurbita (gummadi), marigold (banthi), ixora (ramabanam) hibiscus (mandhara), senna and crossandra (kanakambaram).
‘Arranging flowers is a great art. It is special occasion for us the women, who usually busy in household chores. Great care is needed to be taken to arrange the flowers in seven concentric layers in the shape of a temple gopuram,’ a resident of Advocates Colony, Jayasri Vedantham told The Hans India.
‘Bathukamma represents cultural spirit of Telangana. Many of the seasonal flowers used in arranging Bathukamma have medicinal values. It is a festival, which signifies the Indian tradition of worshipping divinity in nature,’ noted an environmentalist Dr V Gurunatha Rao.
Meanwhile, as a prelude to the festival several schools and colleges in the city have organised Bathukamma celebration on Tuesday. Students, their parents and teachers joined celebrations at Daffodils High School in Hanamkonda.
Similar celebrations are also held at Kakatiya University and Pingle Government College for Women.
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