The story of Sankranthi ,part 2

Hello friend….When we talk about festivals ,we have never ending stories .I myself can write a small book on each festival.

I am trying to suppress my enthusiasm and  condense my story in these two parts. There are many things which bring the uniqueness to Sankranthi .As i already talked you about Muggulu and Gobbemma I will move on to other things like..

 

Bhogi manta

SankranthiCredit

Bhogi manta is the bonfire on the day of Bhogi . This tradition started most probably as an effort to fight the freezing temperatures. Another thing People do is to  burn old ,useless things in the bonfire. Sometimes children who want their parents to buy new things for them ,burn their old things before parents notice them .

Bhogi pallu

My friend's niece
My friend’s niece
plate with Bhogi pallu
plate with Bhogi pallu

It is a tradition of blessing children in a small celebration . All the children from the houses nearby are invited .They have to sit tightly together while we pour a mixture of small coins,Jujube (fruits),flower petals on them .Later they are given viands .Children have attend the same thing at every house in the community . Small kids get to eat many fruits while older kids like to pick up coins.I remember carrying a bag with me in childhood to carry  viands back home.

Hari dasu

haridasuCredit

Hari dasu is an exquisitely dressed man who comes to every house while singing traditional songs . Women donate some rice to him to get his blessings .It is a profession but i do not remember when was the last time I have seen one.

Gangireddu

Sankranthi

Credit

As i told you Sankranthi is a festival of showing gratitude to Gods ,people as well as animals . How can you forget the most important friend of a farmer ,an Ox. Remember ,before the age of vehicles they used to help a lot in the field .

So during this time ,they are decorated with bunch of clothes,garlands and are called “Gangireddu” .

There is a profession in which people live with the help of Gangireddu . They can play piper and a small hand held drum.They take the decorated Ox to rich houses .They train the animals to perform small tricks like wishing ,dancing in small steps. Pleased landlords give them grain and clothes. This profession is also in the verge of extinction ,mostly because of  modernization.

 

Betting

sankranthicredit

Sankranthi is a season of betting. This is usually seen in Andhra pradesh . Bettings  involve animals ( Cock fights) which made them illegal . In spite of law ,these things are still going on and crore of money change hands . Sadly politicians and film actors also involved. Here the bettings are taken so seriously that even families are left broken ,and battles happened . ( Battle of Palanadu,for example ).

The roosters used for cock fights are considered very prestigious , the owners spend lakhs of rupees on them . They are fed with costly food,dry fruits daily.

Some more muggulu…..

SankranthiSankranthiSankranthi

If you missed the first post here is the link..

The Story of Sankranthi ,part 1

Other festivals…

Karthika pournami :Dazzling home town

Bathukamma : a history , a heritage , a childhood

5 days of TELUGU WEDDING : Day 1,part2

5 days of TELUGU WEDDING : Day 1,part1

5 days of Telugu wedding Day 2

 

The Story of Sankranthi ,part 1

Hello friends!!! If I have to describe India in single sentence i prfer “Nation of Festivals”  .We have many festivals and The best part is each festival is  celebrated in a unique way . Sankranthi is the festival of ‘ kites and colors’ . It is the festival of celebrating a successful ‘crop year . It is an important festival for farmer families of Andhra Pradesh where Agriculture is the main mean of living (even today) .It is celebrated at a time when they complete one crop year and ready to welcome ‘Dhanya

Lakshmi ‘ ( Goddess of grain or crop ) ;it is also a festival of showing gratitude to all those people and animals who helped in bringing the crop home. The main festival is for 3 days 1.Bhogi 2.Sankranthi 3.Kanumu.

Celebrations start few days before the main festival when women start making a huge collection of viands ( which are expected to last for few months ,so you can imagine the quantities ) .

At the time of festival the viands , new clothes and grain are distributed among the workers . Earlier when money was not that famous ,workers used to get grain that would last for a year.

The festival is also celebrated as a worship of God Indra for making the weather beneficial for crop.

 

Muggulu

You can call it Rangoli if you want ,but it is just a rough translation.There is no proper English word for it.It is the most important part of festival .They use a specially made ‘ Muggu Pindi ‘ ( type of flour ) . Muggu is both science and art .All the traditional  designs have unique number of dots and their arrangement ,if you miss a single dot ,that’s the end of it .

In villages they are decorated with mary gold Flowers and cones of cattle dung  ,called Gobbemma.

The logic behind Muggu is that the flour used for it is considered as insect and pest repellent .When farmers bring their year long hard wok as the grain and store it in specially built storage rooms at home ( Called ‘Gade’ ) , the wives decorate the surroundings with ‘muggu’ to protect the crop from uninvited guests like insects. They are filled with colors which symbolize prosperity .Even today many people believe that Goddess Lakshmi would like to come to those houses which are richly decorated with Muggulu.

Image credits to my friends Kavitha,Manasa,Kalyani

sankranthi

sankranthi

sankranthi

sankranthisankranthi

sankranthi

sankranthi
It is saying Happy Bhogi in Telugu

 

Gobbemmalu ,Gobbilla patalu

Like there is no proper English word for Muggu ,there is no proper English word for Gobbemma .There cones and pyramids made of cattle dung .They are used to decorate the designs. Girls  clap and dance aroundnthem singing songs. The main content of songs is praying Goddess Lakshmi for a good husband . (Whatever a girl does before a marriage is to get a best husband  and after marriage is for longevity of the husband while guys do not need anything like this. ) As much as i hate the idea of praying for

a husband ,i love the rhythm and rhyming of the songs . If you want to hear them ,click here ..

Makar-Sankranti-Gobbemma-desibantu    Credit

sankranti Credit.

I actually wanted to write just one post ,but i realized that there so much to tell and I will not be able to complete it in single post ,so there will be another post coming.

Read the second part here

 

I hope you like these pictures….

you might want to read about other festivals….

Bathukamma : a history , a heritage , a childhood

Karthika pournami :Dazzling home town

5 days of TELUGU WEDDING : Day 1,part2

5 days of TELUGU WEDDING : Day 1,part1

 

5 days of Telugu wedding Day 2

HelIo buddies!! I  really can not tell you how much I am enjoying the response coming for my wedding series.

My look for the night
My look for the night

This is the 2nd day ,that is one day before marriage .I was given lot of time to make arrangements for the big day while everyone in the house were moving annoyingly busy . I was actually rather cool and had to face many questions for that as if that was sin to be a bride and be cool at the same time . As everyone would expect the house was quite chaotic ,everyone was running around half of them did not even know what they were doing …

I did multiple things throughout the day .I helped them decorate things used for wedding . I tried on few things like the basket I will be sitting in on the wedding day . ( am i making sense ? O.K. You will understand in next post ) . My other duty was getting constant updates from my husband about their journey to our place.

My marriage happened at a very small town in which my grandparents from both sides lived .My in laws live at Hyderabad .The distance is around 260 km  . Everyone got boosted up with excitement by 6 in the evening, shouting ” Ohhhh.!!!!They are near by ,they are just few mins away..” . They reached our place by around 7 pm.

We have a welcome ceremony called “Edurkollu ” ,which is welcoming Groom and his family with refreshments and then there will be a Puja. We booked 2 halls for wedding at one hall this ceremony took place.

By the time they arrived everyone left me with a young sister at home . I was called later at 9 .

Him ,ceremony of feeding sugar to each other
Him ,                                                        ceremony of feeding sugar to each other
 Few more memories
Few more memories
weight of gifts
weight of gifts

When i reached the venue ,i was ushered to a room . Then I saw ‘him’  and God . I started getting palpitations . It is not like i saw ‘him’ for the first time or anything .I had known him for more then 8 months and we met exactly a week before .But the marriage had some effect on me I think. Seeing him suddenly in traditional attire ( like ‘let’s get started with this’ kinda look.)

made me elated and anxious at the same time.

There were some more rituals ,some more Puja. Our families presented clothes and gifts to each other. The whole process took

some 2hrs. Then the time for dinner ,which was arranged in some other Hall.

We arranged one traditional Telangana cultural program known as ‘ Oggu Katha ‘. It is one of the fine arts that belong to the region which is known to very few people. When we were planning the wedding, decided to incorporate some local ,neglected

art or cultural form rather than fancy ,famous forms like Orchestra or bollywood dance. My parents saw this at a temple program and thought this as impressive. They had difficult time in tracing those artists . They inquired at many places,finally my father found them with help of his previous students . ( It is always best to be a teacher ,you will have thousands of old students and at least half of them will be really happy to help ) .That is how we hired these people who had done a spectactular performance of singing ,playing some instrument,dancing and acrobats . The performance lasted for 20mins at that place and as all the guests were walking to go to dinner The dancer’s gang preceded them continuing their performance.

oggu katha
oggu katha

I reached home at 12 am after dinner ,drifted into sleep reminding myself that the next day by the same time I would be a married woman.

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If you missed my first 2 posts of wedding series ,find them down below .

5 days of TELUGU WEDDING : Day 1,part1

5 days of TELUGU WEDDING : Day 1,part2

I like to write about our culture as well …read some related posts

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Karthika pournami :Dazzling home town

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5 days of TELUGU WEDDING : Day 1,Part 2

Hi guys !!!!The response to the first post of this series has been amazing and I am really thrilled by it .I got many mails and personal messages as my comments were not working. I have made few corrections ,hope they are working now .

So as i told you we have really very long ,too many rituals because of which i needed 2 parts for the first day itself .So this is the 2nd  part.If you missed the first part you can read it here .

So By the time ‘Thalambralu ‘ preparation was over ,I was left exhausted .In the afternoon there was nothing much to do ,but they were not going to leave me alone . It was time for ‘mehendi’ .We do not have any separate ceremony dedicated to ‘Mehendi’ . But these days people are trying to have ‘Mehendi’ , ‘Sangeeth’ .ceremonies mostly due to their popularity and due to influence of bollywood films &Hindi films. Some of our relatives even asked us whether we were arranging anything . But we did not want it . When we have too many on our own ,why imitate ?

So where was i? OK OK back to my mehendi program. As we do not have anything related to it ,there was no specific time for it .But as my schedule was extremely tight ,the only free afternoon we had to give for that poor mehendi girl who was hanging around for a chance.

By the time I am done with 2hand and 2 feet ( God !!How tiring it is to sit in particular angles for hours ) i was finished leaving few sprains in the body.Then it was time for getting ready for the evening programs.

Receiving gifts is always great.
                                                   Receiving gifts is always great.

Katnala Uruchuttu

As i was telling in the first post some of the rituals are just special to a certain area .One of those kinds is ‘Uru chuttu'(which simply means encircling the village) for our and nearby other villages .It is like a Baarath where the celebrating family encircles the village along with relatives and band .It will be there  for everything like naming ceremony,engagements,marriage (for a single marriage at least 5-7 uruchuttus happen).

So in ‘Katnala uruchuttu’ close relatives of the bride /groom will encircle the village carrying the gifts which were about to be given to the bride/groom’s family .The bride will be waiting for them at her place ( In this case meeee waiting for them to hand over me giftssss!!!!!!!!!Yayyyyyyy!! )

One confession here… I had been dreaming of getting married since the age of 10 ,just and just to receive Gifts. I always used to dream about the day when i am in the middle of a pool of gifts with a scissors in hands.

My look for the night
       My look for the night

Pellikuthuru Uruchuttu

I went to too many houses these were just few
      I went to too many houses these were just few,I look just yaak with exhaustion

As i told you each marriage will have min of 5 uruchuttus. In the night i am taken by foot to circle the village and i am supposed to go into houses of whoever invites..I mean relatives.They will call the bride in, get her some sweet to eat,give her clothes and take some snaps .

I read somewhere that this came from one previous custom of inviting bride to each of relative’s house from 1 month prior to the marriage .Then the relatives used to give her special massage and bath ,traditional feast and clothes. This would make her look healthy and well nourished by the time of marriage. But later like everything else in the world this process also was condensed into a short one .

That night it was 1 am by the time i reached home and slept peacefully .

This is the ending of the first day…I hope i am not boring you with too much info.

 

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5 days of TELUGU WEDDING : Day 1,part1

India is a country where for every 10kms culture, traditions, lifestyle and language ( accent at least) change. I have always wondered about the amount and frequency of the Diversity found here. Take Marriage, for example, though it has an equal and undeniable significance in every part of of India, the rituals and customs considerably vary.

So, I wanted to dedicate few posts for my typical’ Telugu wedding ‘.  There are always region, caste, subcaste variations. We have important event schedule for 5 days.

MANGALA SNANAM :

wedding

wedding

wedding

The day started early by 6 in the morning. Before bath there was a small program called  KOTLAM in which all the female members of our family do something and sprinkle rice flour on heads of bride and her parents. In Kuladevatha which is the next program all the family Gods and Goddesses are invited for wedding .They are supposed to stay in house until released by another ceremony after marriage.

Mangala snanam resembles “Haldi’ of north Indian wedding ,only thing is this is a secret ceremony for women as the bride will be almost naked (aaaaa). Elderly women massage bride with oil and a specially prepared powder ( made of chana Dal  ,turmeric and few other ingredients) .This is a ceremony meant for bringing glow to the bride’s skin.Then they give oil massage to head and wash hair with soapnut (ritha).But these days everyone is using shampoos.

As I am very shy and adamant girl I did not allow any one to touch me or be with me ,my aunt managed to send everyone back and allowed me to do all the things by myself ;She stood outside the bedroom door and intermittently  shouted some instructions.

 

Bangle ceremony

These are the green bangles we are supposed to wear for wedding
                                                                                       These are the green bangles we are supposed to wear for wedding

One traditional bangle woman who descended from a bangle seller family is called home .She comes with a huge bangle collection mostly glass bangle (matti gajulu in Telugu ) .After doing some kind of Puja she will her self hand those bangles to me .Literally she will push bangles onto my arms.

 

wedding
                                                   Photos in the upper row belong to bangle ceremony, lower are from Kuladevatha

We are supposed to wear only green bangles made of glass .

Then I need to give  green bangles to all the married female relatives .

 

wedding
   They were mixing rice,turmeric and oil in that huge bowl

During the ceremony there will be preparation of ‘Thalambralu’ .These are the yellow colored rice which bride and groom pour over other in a playful event . The same is used by elders to drop on bride and groom’s head during marriage as a part of blessing them.This is made by mixing turmeric powder and oil to rice.

 

wedding

The day is actually very long that i decided to dedicate two posts as i am getting exhausted.

If you like the post and photos please comment and share…

like my page on Facebook and subscribe to the newsletter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other posts you might be interested…

Crazy PRE Wedding photoshoot

Bathukamma : a history , a heritage , a childhood

Karthika pournami :Dazzling home town

Dignity in Mental Health

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