The Bathukamma Festival, celebrated this year on September 25, is a nine-day festival celebrated in the Indian state of Telangana and parts of Andhra Pradesh, usually taking place between September and October. Referred to as the “festival of life,” it is a celebration that honors the Goddess Parvati for blessing the year’s crop harvest and fortune she has brought in the year. Bathukamma’s main festivities include the creation of flower stacks by the women of Telangana, which are then arranged into the shape of a temple’s gopura as a symbol of their gratitude.
History of Bathukamma Starting Day
Bathukamma is a vibrant, colorful festival celebrated primarily in the Indian state of Telangana that celebrates the beginning of the ‘Sharad’ season, or autumn. The festival marks the end of the monsoon season and is held to express gratitude to the Goddess Parvati for her blessings on the season’s harvest.
It generally lasts for nine days in tandem with the post-monsoon Durga Navratri festival. The festival itself has since become a part of the state’s cultural identity. The first day of Bathukamma, known as Engili Pula Bathukamma, is dedicated to the preparation of all offerings to be made during the festival. These items include sesame seeds, rice flour, and nookalu rice. On this day, Telugu women clean the courtyards in preparation for the festival, which includes the drawing of rangoli on the ground.
However, the main draw of Bathukamma is the intricately arranged flower stacks that are created in the spirit of the festival. The stacks, referred to as Bathukamma, are made up of gathered local wildflowers and arranged in the shape of a temple’s gopura. The women of Telangana usually create several stacks for the festival, resulting in a colorful geometric display of flowers across the state. Flowers are an important part of the festival as their blooming during the monsoon season symbolizes the beginning of a new dawn.
The Bathukamma stacks are considered to be the state’s signature folk art. On a brass plate, flowers of different colors are carefully arranged in circular rows on top of one another. As the stack gradually reaches its intended size, the vibrant displays are then placed in front of the family goddess tribute before being carried to the river on the final day to be soaked in water. For observers, Bathukamma is seen as a celebration of their relationship with the Earth and its guardian spirits.
Bathukamma Starting Day timeline
The Sri Raja Rajeshwara Temple in Vemulada, a popular Bathukamma celebration venue, is built.
Bathukamma is thought to have started based on epigraphists' discovery of an inscription at Andhra Pradesh's Bathu-Keswarasthanam Temple.
Telangana peasants begin a rebellion to secede from the then-Princely State of Hyderabad, which would later cease in 1951.
Telangana state is formed, splitting from the Andhra Pradesh state.
Bathukamma Starting Day FAQs
What is the importance of Bathukamma?
Bathukamma generally means “Mother Goddess comes alive.” The festival itself is celebrated at the end of the monsoon season, and the overall point of the celebrations is to pay tribute to the abundance of nature and all it offers human life.
What flowers are commonly used in Bathukamma stacks?
Commonly used flowers include Celosia, Senna, Marigold, Lotus, Cucurbita, and Cucumis. Some of the flowers chosen hold water purification properties, which help symbolize the festival’s general theme of renewal.
What are the names of the Bathukamma festival days?
Each day in the nine-day Bathukamma festival has a name of its own, with their own meanings. The nine days, respectively, are known as Engili Pula Bathukamma, Atkula Bathukamma, Muddapappu Bathukamma, Nanabiyyam Bathukamma, Atla Bathukamma, Aligina Bathukamma, Vepakayala Bathukamma, Vennamuddala Bathukamma, and Saddula Bathukamma.
How to Observe Bathukamma Starting Day
Dress in your colorful best
During the Bathukamma Festival, female observers dress up in traditional, colorful saris and combine them with colorful accessories. Why not dress in your colorful, traditional best and get into the spirit? After all, Bathukamma is a celebration defined by its colorful vibrancy.
Create some Bathukamma stacks yourself
The Bathukamma stacks are intricate and symbolic works of art. You can try making your own Bathukamma stacks yourself by gathering the relevant flowers or similar ones available to you locally. Creating these works requires great patience and a careful eye for organization. It can also help elevate your flower arranging skills too.
Have some ‘maleeda’
It wouldn't be a festival without food, would it? Bathukamma has its own range of festive snacks and dishes that are consumed during the festival. Why not try and make some ‘maleeda,’ the delectable, sweet pastries symbolic of the festival? We can guarantee it will satisfy any sweet tooth.
5 Interesting Facts About Telangana State
Its capital is shared with its neighbor
Hyderabad is the capital of both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
It has its own Ganges
The Godavari River, which runs through Telangana, is considered to be the "Ganges of the South" due to its holiness.
It hosted numerous kingdoms throughout its history
Telangana served as the ruling center of several prominent ancient Indian dynasties, such as the Mauryan Empire, the Satavahana, the Chalukya, and the Katakiya.
It has a heart-shaped lake
The Hussain Sagar Lake in Hyderabad is famous for being heart-shaped.
It's as big as they can get
At 43,273 square miles, Telangana is big enough to be named the 33rd largest country.
Why Bathukamma Starting Day is Important
We love flowers and everything they stand for
Bathukamma is a celebration of flowers and their vibrancy, symbolism, and role in defining how the seasons change. Thus, the festival acts as a way to pay tribute to these colorful gifts of nature and how they make us feel.
It is a day to thank nature for everything it has given us
Bathukamma is a harvest festival that serves as a time to express gratitude to the Earth for providing us with the necessities of life. Nature is a powerful force that must always be respected for what it provides.
Bathukamma is one of many spectacular Indian rituals
Bathukamma is one of many rituals that emphasize the diversity and vibrancy of Indian culture. Indian celebrations are globally known for their colorful nature, spiritual connections, and community appreciation. The smallest aspects of nature and the spiritual world are celebrated in India, which helps build a culture that respects them.
Bathukamma Starting Day dates