Bathukamma- A unique floral festival, that nourishes the sisterhood

Bhanu Teja Valluri is introducing a unique festival- Bathukamma of South India, which is related to Goddess-Gauri worship. The festival occurs at the end of the monsoon, just before winter sets in, and is considered a symbol of Telangana’s cultural identity. In circles around the Bathukamma, of all ages women and girls sing songs, reflecting unity, love, and sisterhood. The duration of this festival is 9 days.

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In India, the festival of Navratri (Durga Puja, Dussehra is another known name)begins on Monday, 26 September this year. It symbolizes the spirit, integrity, and power of the feminine. There are also other indigenous cultures that have their own festivals with different names that are taking place at the same time. Follow the link, if you wanted to know more about Navratri https://isha.sadhguru.org/us/en/wisdom/article/what-is-navratri-nine-days-of-navratri-explained

In Hinduism, there is a culture to worship Goddess as feminine power and is worshiped by different names and methods. Devotees called them “Maa(mother)”, and believe that she will take care of everything. This is deep faith. This special time brings spirituality to society, and people create a joyful environment around them by doing different activities. There is not only a faith but also a sacrament that irrigates happiness among the people. In Goddess worship(Goddess is the symbol of the Supreme energy of feminine in India) men and women participate equally.

Accordingly, today we are introducing another tradition, where women partake in Goddess worship uniquely. The name of the tradition is Bathakumma- a feminine worship festival celebrated in South India-Telangana. It is starting on Mahalaya-Amavasya. Read more about Mahalaya https://isha.sadhguru.org/us/en/wisdom/article/significance-of-mahalaya-amavasya

Read the full article below.

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Meet the Author

Bhanu Teja Valluri is the author of this article. Her hometown is Hyderabad. Her hobbies include dancing, cooking, traveling, and reading. In her professional life, she works as a stylist. Her skills include planning, designing, executing, and marketing. Her passion for challenges and constant goal-setting allows her to strive for success. It is her constant pursuit of bettering herself and achieving greatness that drives her.

Festival Duration, and Tradition

The festival over the years has become a symbol of Telangana culture and identity. The festival begins on the day of Mahalaya Amavasya and is celebrated for nine days till Durgashtami. The final day of Bathukamma, known as Pedha or Saddula Bathukamma falls two days before Dusshera.

According to the tradition, Bathukamma was celebrated to thank Goddess Parvati for her blessings for this year’s crop harvest and income and to ask for her blessings for the next.

Feminine felicitation is the theme of this festival. It is a special occasion for women to dress up in traditional saris paired with jewels and other accessories. In order to bring out the traditional grace of the attire, teenage girls wear Langa-Oni/Half-Sarees/Lehenga Cholis with jewels.

Bathukamma
flower stack

Meaning of Bathukamma

Bathukamma represents the cultural spirit of Telangana. Bathukamma is a beautiful flower stack, arranged with different unique seasonal flowers most of them with medicinal values, in seven concentric layers in the shape of a temple gopuram. Bathukamma means ‘Mother Goddess come Alive’ and the patron goddess of womanhood, Goddess Maha Gauri-‘Life Giver’ is worshipped in the form of Bathukamma.

What do women do in the first five days?

During the first five days of the festival, women generally clean their courtyard with water mixed with cow dung and use rice flour to draw rangoli on it. On the final day of the festival, men of the household go out and gather all regional flowers like ‘Gunuka’ (celosia), ‘Tangedu’ (Cassia Auriculata), ‘Chamanti’ (Chrysanthemum), and then the entire household arranges them in stacks. Preparing a Bathukamma is a fork art and is prepared with careful attention.
On a brass plate, flowers of different colors are carefully arranged in circular rows, one layer on top of the other. The Bathukamma gradually increases in size and looks more vibrant and colorful.

Women celebrating Bathukamma in the USA
Women celebrating Bathukamma in the USA

It is then kept before the family goddess and prayers are offered. In the evening women in their traditional attires gather together and begin singing folk songs by continually surrounding it, forming a magnificent human circle of togetherness, love, and sisterhood.

Before dusk, they carry Bathucamma on their heads and immerse it in water. Later they share the ‘Maleeda’, which is a dessert made with sugar and cornbread, and share it among friends and family.

Maleeda (Sweet Dish)
Maleeda (Sweet Dish)

Bathukamma celebration announces the beauty of nature, the collective spirit of Telangana people, and the preservation of our natural resources. As a result, Bathukamma has become an emblem of Telangana cultural identity.

To read more about Navratri’s meaning, traditions, and how is celebrated differently in the other States of India, click the link below.

https://isha.sadhguru.org/ca/en/blog/article/navratri-celebration-festival-golu#point6

Bathukamma Festival in Telangana
Bathukamma Festival in Telangana

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