That’s right, folks! The uber colourful festival of Bathukamma is beginning soon and as we welcome Gauri Devi into our homes once again, let us reflect upon this cultural festival of Telangana and once again be reminded of all its splendid tradition.
It literally translates into “Mother Goddess Come Alive”. This colourful festival is celebrated during Durga Navratri. The rituals begin on MahalayaAmavasya and the festivities continue for 9 days before drawing to an end on Durgashtami, two days before Dussehra. It indicates the beginning of Sarath Ruthu. The festival is primarily celebrated to seek blessings from Gauri Devi for the future and to thank for the past.
The festival is a beautiful 9-day affair and is one of the most colourful festivals of the country. A variety of flowers, mostly of the medicinal kind, are arranged in seven concentric layers to symbolise the shape of a temple’s upper part, also known as the gopuram. This flower stack is called Bathukamma. Women and girls dress to the nines on all 9 days of the celebrations and assemble in large groups with various Bathukammas and sing and dance around them to invoke the blessing of the Goddess.
Each of the nine days has a name which basically signifies the type of food offering, or “naivedyam”, offered to the Goddess. The names of the nine days are:
- Engili pula Bathukamma and on this day the food offering is sesame seeds with rice flour.
- Atkula Bathukamma and the food offered on this day is jaggery and flattened parboiled rice.
- The third day has a food offering of softened boiled lentils, milk and jaggery.
- Nanabiyyam Bathukamma and on this day, we offer wet rice, milk and jaggery.
- Atla Bathukamma. Today, pancakes made from wheatlets or dosa is offered.
- Aligina Bathukamma and today, there is no food offering made.
- Today, we offer rice flour deep fried into shapes of the fruits of a neem tree to Gauri Devi.
- Vennamuddala Bathukamma and today we offer sesame, butter and jaggery.
- The ninth day coincides with Durgashtami. We offer five types of cooked rice dishes.
Thus, the nine days are concluded with a lot of celebrations and joy and we eagerly wait for the next time the Goddess enters our homes.
A very Happy Bathukamma to all our readers!!