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September 20, 2011 > Bathukamma Festival

Bathukamma Festival

Submitted By Raju Yasala

Bathukamma is a spring festival celebrated by the Hindu women of the Telangana region in Andhra Pradesh, India. Also called Boddemma, this festival falls in the months of September and October and concludes two days before Dussera, called Durgashtami. Bathukamma is a beautiful flower stack, arranged with seasonal flowers in seven concentric layers of potter's clay like a cone. Bathuku in Telugu means live/life, and Amma means mother; hence, Bathukamma, is celebrated for the glory of the patron Goddess of womanhood (later denoted as Goddess Gauri).

There are many myths behind this festival. According to one myth Goddess Gauri killed 'Mahishasura' the demon after a fierce fight. After this act, she went to sleep on the 'Aswayuja Padyami' day, due to fatigue. Devotees prayed for her to wake up, and she did on Dasami day.

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.

This is one of the primary religious festivals of Telangana people. Women mainly celebrate this festival, dressed up in traditional silk saris and jewelry, though men also participate, decorating and arranging the beautiful floral mounts of Batakamma. Young girls participate in large numbers. This festival is celebrated with joy and gaiety. During these celebrations, there are dance performances, music, dramas and a variety of entertainments.

Every year Telangana Cultural Association (TCA) celebrates Bathukamma Festivals in the Bay Area, and this year's event is in Ortega Park in Sunnyvale on Sunday, September 25. This is an open invitation from TCA to all Bay Area residents, irrespective of region, religion, and culture. The purpose of this event is to socialize in Telangana culture with friends and families around you.

TCA is also conducting a workshop on Saturday, September 24 at Satyanarayana Swami Temple in Milpitas to prepare Bathukamma and educate kids and women on how to prepare Bathukamma. TCA is providing the flowers and required materials.

We proudly thank our sponsors Chandrakala (Chandu) Siramdas, Jaspinder Singh, Gary Singh, US Auto Collision & Repair, www.ParentsVisit.com, www.TheDirectClient.com, Lokesh Tax Services, Dr. Jonathan H. Kim, Peacock Restaurant, Suraj Rastaurant, Andhra Bhavan, Athidhi Restaurant, Dosa Palace, and India Chat Cuisine (Santa Clara).

To learn more about the current and past events, visit www.telanganaculture.org.

Bathukamma Festival
Sunday, September 25
2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Ortega Park
636 Harrow Way, Sunnyvale
www.telanganaculture.org

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