Festivals of Telangana ఆగస్ట్ 30, 2006Posted by Telangana Utsav in Essays.
-by Ashritha Annadatha, 12 yrs, Hyderabad
The best of Indian festivals are all celebrated in Telangana.
The art forms of the Telugu people manifest all-year round in the form of dance, drama, music and other performing arts including folk arts. They depict varied expressions of joy, hope, love and sheer zest for life.
Telanganites not only celebrate the main festivals, but also celebrate certain regional festivals like Bonalu in Hyderabad, Batakamma all over Telangana districts, Yedupayala Jatara in Medak, Sammakka Saralamma in Warangal district.
Bonalu – This is a festival of offering to Goddess Mahankali. This folk festival of Bonalu is famous in the Telangana region brings an offering to the Goddess Mahankali. The Mahankali temple is located in the busy streets of Secunderabad area.The Dance of balancing pots with the colourfully dressed female danceres balancing pots (Bonalu), step to the rythemic beats and tunes in praise of the village diety Mahankali. Male dancers called the Potharajus follow the female Dancers to the temple lashing whips and emerald margosa leaves tied around their waists adding colour to the roaring trumpets and pulsating percussion.
Batakamma is a special festival celebrated with religious fervour in the Telangana region. Batakamma means ‘immortal woman’. It is a month long festival where Goddess Batakamma’s idol is worshipped and is made to float on the rivers and lakes. Basically, this is a floral festival. It falls on ‘Asvija Shuddha Dasami’ (September -October).This festival is celebrated to glorify womanhood and her celestial place in the family set up. During these days, Goddess ‘Gauri’ the patron Goddess of womanhood is worshipped by all the women folk with utmost devotion and piety.
Batakamma or ‘Parvati’, according to one legend, is a lover of flowers. Flowers are arranged on a square wooden plank or a square bamboo frame with the size of frames tapering off to form a pinnacle on top. They resemble the shape of a temple ‘Gopura’. A lump of turmeric is kept on top of the flowers. This little floral mountain is worshipped as Goddess Batakamma
- Biggest Tribal Jatara Sammakka & Saralamma Jatara
Sri Sammakka & Saralamma Jatara will be celebrated once in two years in Medaram Village of Tadvai Mandal of Warangal District. This is one of the most pious, sacred religious largest tribal gathering festivals in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Medaram Village is situated in dense forest area about 104 KMS from Warangal city. There are two gaddes (platforms) separately one for goddess “Sammakka” and other for goddess “Saralamma”.
Since time immemorial, one tree is standing on Sammakka gadde. Under this huge tree lies couple of wooden poles, which is considered to be the totemic symbol of Sammakka, object of worship by visitors.
The Jatara provides not only an opportunity of interaction between tribals and non tribals of different parts of India but also a feeling among them joining mainstream in the presence of non-tribals in the Jatara, and it is a symbol of common bond between tribals and their belief in cultural heritage.
The festive atmosphere set in on November 14 and would continue till December 13. The period is a harbinger of happiness and cheer.
- Ayak or Bhimanna
This festival is celebrated by Kolam tribal inhabiting Laindiguda, Utmur Taluq Adilabad district. This falls in the Kolam month of satti. Ayak also known as Bhimana or Bhimdev, is the principal deity of the Kolams. He is represented by a carved wooden mace usually crowned with a bunch of peacock feathers, a pot containing pher or a belt of bells, marwar or anklets and small dolls made of mud. All these are kept in a thatched shed. On a Thursday, the relies of Bhimama are brought and kept in the heart of the village in a small green lead enclosure. On the first day a fowl or a goat is sacrificed. On the following day the relics of the dirty are taken to Mohamloddi, a hill stream about eighteen kilometers from the village for bathing the deity. After bringing back the deity to bath in the evening, a buffalo purchased collectively is sacrificed.
The sacrifices are done to fulfill their vows. The meat of the scarified animal is cooked and eaten by all the people of the tribe. First meal is served to all the priests. Cooked jowar mixed with the food of the sacrificed animals, goes around the village, small quantities of it on all the cornerstones and comes back. The deity is taken to its original abode the following day. This festival lasts for three days. It is confined to Kolam tribals only. They do not allow people of other communities to be present at the time of sacrifice.
- Other forms of celebrations:
Lambadi – Associated with daily tasks harvesting, planting, sowing etc., the Lambadi is performed by the Ganjaras, a seminomadic tribe seen all over Andhra Pradesh. Costumes embroidered with glass beads and mirrors, ornate jewellery, ivory bangles, brass anklets and a natural rhythm make this dance a colourful exposition of joy which is the highlight of many a festive occasion.
Gonda – A tribal dance performed by youths, it is a joyous celebration of the victory of Lord Krishna and Lord Rama over the demons. The festival activities in the Telangana are marked by spectacular fireworks, and the burning of the effigies representing the vanquished demons.
(These are the excerpts from the original essay)