29 September , 2022 |

Environment

Bathukamma: The Floral Festival 🌸

Bathukamma is a unique and only floral festival for flowers celebrated across the South-Indian state of Telangana. The best part about this festival is that it promotes environmental conservation. Check out this fantastic blog to learn more :)

Introduction India is a land of festivals, commencing with Pongal/Sankranthi and ending with Christmas. Every festival has got its own significance and purpose. People get ecstatic and desperate to celebrate the event during the festive season. Shopping, buying appliances and gadgets, and inviting relatives to houses for a feast are pretty standard in Indian households. Unlike the Indian festivals, the Bathukamma festival is quite unique and being a guy from Telangana, I felt like sharing some sneak peeks1 about the floral festival.

What is Bathukamma? Bathukamma is a nine-day floral festival which is all about worshipping our Mother Nature and Local Deities (Telangana). And yes, it is celebrated alongside "Navratri"(Nine Nights), which is celebrated all over India as most water bodies are filled to capacity and Bathukammas (Floral Stack as seen in the image) can be immersed in water bodies, similar to "Ganesh Visarjan".

History of Bathukamma According to the legends, the festivities began during the Kakatiya era., but some academics attribute the fest to a local king of erstwhile Karimnagar (A dist in Telangana). The festival starts on Mahalaya Amavasya (No Moon Day) with "Engili Pula Bathukamma" and concludes on Ashwayuja Navami (Durgashtami) with "Saddula Bathukamma." (Also called "Pedda Bathukamma"). Till date, it is celebrated in the state by the locals with great enthusiasm and desperation.

The 9-Day schedule Bathukamma has a unique name each day for all 9 days. 1st Day - Engili Pula Bathukamma 2nd Day - Atkula Bathukamma 3rd Day - Muddapappu Bathukamma 4th Day - Nanabiyyam Bathukamma 5th Day - Atla Bathukamma 6th Day - Aligina Bathukamma 7th Day - Vepakayala Bathukamma 8th Day - Vennamuddala Bathukamma 9th Day - Saddula Bathukamma (Pedda Bathukamma) For all these days, the god is served with different "Naivedya" (offering), and interestingly, only biodegradable materials are used in rituals during the nine days.

Bathukamma Songs These songs have a distinct style that can be found nowhere else. According to the researchers, each dist would have 1000 songs, with 10,000 songs composed by the local women, inspired by events in their local community or by praying to deities. A song was composed to tribute to those who died in a train accident in Mahabubnagar (A dist in Telangana) in 1956. Bathukamma songs were also composed during the armed struggle during the Nizam era and the separate Telangana movement. Most songs have the team "Uyyalo", which means "Cradle", as a rhythm when women dance around the floral stack (Bathukamma).

Bathukamma and its Environmental Benefits While the festival is known for its vibrant use of flowers, the offerings prepared have great nutritional value. It is believed that consuming Jaggery on a regular basis for 9 days will improve the iron levels in women. Bathukamma's were made from locally-grown flowers. Flowers like "Gunugu" (Celosia), "Thangedu" (Cassia Auriculata), "Banthi" (Marigold), "Chamanthi" (Chrysanthemum) and many others are used to make the flower stacks. It is believed that the flowers used in Bathukamma have a high water purification capacity, and when immersed in abundance in a pond, they cleanse the water. Flowers and leaves used in the preparation of Bathukamma aid in preventing water-borne diseases due to their medicinal properties.

Conclusion Through this blog, I wanted you to understand the festival of "Bathukamma", which gives importance to mother nature and local deities. Let's make our festivals environmental-friendly and be a role model to other countries.

Article by Krishna Teja Reddy Credits - Times of India and Telangana Today Did you love this blog? If you want to keep learning and exploring something new daily and don't have much time, simply subscribe to us as I promise you a 4 min read daily in simple English. Don't forget to share it with your friends and family. Until then, this is krishna signing off :)

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