Bathukamma is being celebrated in Telangana from September 25 to October 3 this year.
- Bathukamma is observed as the state festival of Telangana since the state’s inception in 2014.
- It is a flower festival celebrated mainly in Telangana and several parts of Andhra Pradesh.
- This 9-day festival is celebrated based on Sathavahana calendar and it usually falls on September or October, during the latter half of monsoon, before the onset of winter.
- This festival begins with Mahalaya Amavasya, also known as Engili Poola Bathukamma.
- Bathukamma means ‘Goddess of Life’. It is a collection of flowers stacked one layer at a time and rising in a series of concentric circles like the gopuram in South Indian temples.
- It is made using locally grown flowers like Gunugu puvvu (Celosia), Thangedu puvvulu (Cassia auriculata), Gummadi puvvulu (Cucurbita), Vaama puvvulu (Ajwain), Banthi puvvu (Marigold), Chamanthi puvvulu (Chrysanthemum) etc.
- During the first seven days of this festival, women make symbolic images of Bodemma (Goddess Gauri) using clay and small Bathukammas.
- The final day of this festival, called Saddula Bathukamma, involves the preparation of huge Bathukammas on a special plate and womenfolk singing and dancing around it.
- Bathukammas are then taken out in a procession to be immersed a river or any nearby waterbody.
- The flowers used in Bathukamma are capable of purifying water in ponds and tanks.
- The festival concludes a day before the Dasara Festival.
- The Union Ministry of Culture has announced that this festival would be celebrated at the India Gate for the first time.
- The celebrations will be in line with the Telangana/Hyderabad Liberation Day celebrations that were organized earlier this month, when the national flag was hoisted in Hyderabad by Home Minister Amit Shah.
- Meanwhile, the Telangana government has started the distribution of 1 crore Bathukamma sarees for this festive occasion.
- The initiative was started by the Telangana government in 2017 to support weavers in the state.
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