Bathukamma festival celebrated by the Hindu Women in the state of Telangana. Every year this festival falls in the month of September–October. Bathukamma is celebrated for nine days during Navratri puja. This festival starts on the day of Mahalaya Amavasya and the 9-day festivities will culminate on “Saddula Bathukamma” or “Pedda Bathukamma” festival on Ashwayuja Ashtami, well known as Durgashtami which is two days before Dussehra. Bathukamma is followed by Boddemma, which is a 7-day festival.
Bathukamma is a beautiful flower stack, arranged with different varieties and colours of flowers most of them with medicinal value, arranged in seven concentric layers in the shape of a cone. In Telugu, ‘Bathukamma’ means ‘Mother Goddess Come Alive’ and Goddess Maha Gauri-‘Life Giver’ is worshipped in the form of Bathukamma – the patron goddess of womanhood (Maha Gauri Devi)
In the evening, women gather in large numbers with their Bathukammas in open grounds, parks of their locality, they form in a circle around the Bathukamma and start singing folk songs by clapping their hands by rounding around the Bathukamma, sinking steps and claps in unison provide a splendorous look to the festivities. Women seek good health, prosperity and happiness for their families.
After separating from Andhra Pradesh the Telangana Government has announced Bathukamma as the state festival.
During the nine days of the evening, womens and young girls, After dresing up with triditional dresses gather in large numbers with their Bathukammas in open areas of their locality. All womens and girls will form a circle around Bathukammas and begin to sing popular songs by clapping and turning around the Bathukammas, synchronizing the steps and applause in unison to make the festivities look beautiful. Women seek good health, prosperity and happiness of their families. The songs will invoke the blessings of many goddesses. In principle, the performance ends with one of three tributes: Uyyaala – Chandamama – Gouramma.
Bathukamma Nine Days Festival:
Each day has a name that mainly means the type of “naivedyam” (Prasadam) offered. Most of the naivedyams on offer are very simple to prepare and, generally, young children or girls are mainly dedicated to preparing offerings for the first eight days of the festival. The last day, called Saddula Bathukamma, is the participation of all women in the preparation. You will find below the list of names for each day and the naivedyam offered that day.
Day One:- Engili pula Bathukamma:
The first day of the festival falls on Mahalaya Amavasya, also known as Pethara Amavasya in Telangana region. Food offered for Naivedyam are Nuvvulu (Sesame seeds) with biyyampindi (rice flour) or nookalu (coarsely ground wet rice).
Day Two:- Atkula Bathukamma:
The second day is called Atkula bathukamma, falls on the Padyami (first day) of Ashwayuja masam. Food offered for Naivedyam are Sappidi pappu (Bland boiled lentils), Bellam (jaggery), and Atkulu (flattened parboiled rice).
Day Three:- Muddapappu Bathukamma:
The third day of Bathukamma falls on Vidiya/second day of Ashwayuja masam. Food offered for Naivedyam are Muddapappu (softened boiled lentils), Milk and Bellam (jaggery).
Day Four:- Nanabiyyam Bathukamma:
The fourth day falls on thidiya/third day of Ashwayuja masam. Food offered for Naivedyam are Nananesina biyyam (wet rice), Milk, and Bellam (jaggery)
Day Five:- Atla Bathukamma:
The fifth day falls on the chathurdi/fourth day of Ashwayuja masam. Food offered for Naivedyam are Uppidi pindi atlu (pan cakes made from wheatlets), or Dosa
Day Six:- Aligina Bathukamma:
The sixth day falls on the panchami/fifth day of Ashwayuja masam and no food offering is made on this day.
Day Seven:- Vepakayala Bathukamma:
The seventh day falls on the sashti/sixth day of Ashwayuja masam. Food offered for Naivedyam are Rice flour shaped into the fruits of neem tree is deepfried.
Day Eight:- Vennamuddala Bathukamma:
The eight day falls on sapthami/seventh day of Ashwayuja masam. Food offered for Naivedyam are Nuvvulu (sesame), Venna (Butter) or Ghee (clarified butter), and Bellam (jaggery)
Day Nine:- Saddula Bathukamma:
The ninth day of bathukamma is celebrated on ashtami/eight day of Ashwayuja masam, and coincides with Durgashtami.
Food offered for Naivedyam are Five types of cooked rice dishes are prepared thet are Perugannam saddi (curd rice), Chinthapandu pulihora saddi (tamarind rice), Nimmakaya saddi (lemon rice), Kobbara saddi (coconut rice) and Nuvvula saddi (sesame rice).