Bathukamma

Bathukamma is floral festival celebrated by the Hindu women of Telangana. Every year this festival is celebrated as per Telugu version of Hindu calendar in the Bhadrapada Amavasya, also known as Mahalaya Amavasya, usually in September–October of Gregorian calendar. Bathukamma is celebrated for nine days during Durga Navratri. It starts on the day of Mahalaya Amavasya and the 9-day festivities will culminate on “Saddula Bathukamma” or “Pedda Bathukamma” festival on Ashwayuja Ashtami, popularly known as Durgashtami which is two days before Dussehra. Bathukamma is followed by Boddemma, which is a 7-day festival. Boddemma festival that marks the ending of Varsha Ruthu whereas Bathukamma festival indicates the beginning of Sarad or Sharath Ruthu

Bathukamma represents cultural spirit of Telangana. Bathukamma is a beaIt is the festival for feminine felicitation. On this special occasion women dress up in the traditional sari combining it with jewels and other accessories. Teenage Girls wear Langa-Oni/Half-Sarees/Lehenga Choli combining it with jewels in order to bring out the traditional grace of the attire.

On first five days women will clean their vakili (courtyard), cow dung mixed with water is spread in the courtyard as a ground-base, decorate the ground-base with managala aakara or muggu patterns or rangoli made of rice flour. For the first five days Batukamma is prepared with cow dung. Five small lumps in cone shape are arranged in the vakili.

Men in the house gather flowers from the wild plains like Celosia, Senna, Marigold, Chrysanthemum, Indian Lotus, Cucurbita leaves & flowers, Cucumis Sativus leaves & flowers, Memecylon edule, Tridax procumbens, Trachyspermum ammi, Katla, Teku Flowers, etc., which bloom in this season in various vibrant colors all across the uncultivated and barren plains of the region.

Preparing a Bathukamma is a folk art. Women start preparing Bathukamma from the afternoon. They cut the flowers leaving the little length base, some dip Gunugu (Celosia) flowers in various vibrant colours, some scented and arrange them on a wide plate called Thambalam spread with big leaves, and stack them up in a conical mound, filling the cone with leaves and stems of the flower stalks, decorated with a Lotus or Pumpkin Flower on top of the stack along with Gouramma (a symbolic idol of Gowri made of turmeric). One interesting aspect of the preparation of the flower arrangement is that the arrangement usually floats in water for sometime, and the arrangement is not disassembled until it drowns in water.