Thursday, January 10, 2013

Bhogi- The Festival of Bonfire


Bhogi Festival was celebrated as the first day of Harvest festival called as Pongal in south India.This festival comes prior to Makara Sankranthi Festival in india. The Bhogi was derived from Sanskrit word Bhooz. Bhooz means happiness. This is marked as a holy day because goddess Godha Devi merged with Lord Sri Ranganatha Swamy at the holy place SriRangam. Holy bonfire were lit in the early morning around 4-5AM to overcome the winter harshness. 
Cultural Beliefs:
  • People will worship Lord Indra,Lord Surya(Sun) and Goddess Earth by preparing special dishes with newly harvested paddy on this day known as Pongal.Young ladies exhibit their talents by drawing colorful designs know as Rangoli on the floors. This designs popularly called as Mutyala Muggu or Sankranthi Muggu. Balls prepared with Cow dung and decorated with turmeric and flowers were placed on the designs.These are called as 'Gobbillu'.
  • Haridasu is a person who beg alms for rice by playing street songs with musical instrument in one hand and a pair of wooden blocks used as cymbals in other hand can be seen in this day.
  • Gangireddu or Basavanna, A person who begs alms for rice by singing folk songs with clarinet and bull dance.
  • And in the evening all families will showcase their dolls on the array of steps and organizes a party in their homes. This is called as Bommala Koluvu.

Interesting Facts:

Bhogi Pallu is special ritual where all fruits and coins were collected and showered on the heads of small children to protect them from negative forces.This ritual will bring happiness, good fortune and success. Mixture of Jujube or Indian date, gooseberries, small sugarcane pieces and rice were used in showering. People believe that Indian date is the favorite fruit for Lord Lakshmi Narayana. By showering these fruits on heads will acquire blessings of the god.

Scientific Reasons: 

  • Dry Cow dung cakes, Cow ghee, Banyan, Peepal and Neem tree wood were used in Bonfire. This holy smoke will purifies the environment by their medicinal properties. Nearly 10grams of Cow ghee will release 1 ton of oxygen into the air. By inhaling this air, the disease causing germs which are widely spread during the winter will be destroyed. All the people will get health benefits with this bonfire in cheap cost. This air will detox the body by cleansing 72,000 nerves. By this cultural procedure people will unite without any rational discrimination. Young ladies will sing songs by revolving around the fire. Scientifically this fire will raise our body temperature and kills disease causing germs in the body.
  • But nowadays people are using rubber tires and certain plastics in this fire causing various health problems. Burning waste scrap is not cultural act in this festival. Old beds which are made with the wood of Neem and other tree wood can be burnt.
  • There exist a reason behind cultural act 'Bhogi Pallu', Scientifically there is a part in the brain called as Brahma Randram(the core of the brain or Third eye or Pineal gland) exist on the top of the skull. When we shower these fruits on the head it becomes excited and children will become intelligent.And other meaning is, the fruits resembles nature, showering on head states that "respect the nature by keeping on head". Another meaning was, Our pride,selfishness will fall like fruits from head only soul will reach the god this is eternal, by this act our inner consciousness will be raised to overcome our pride and selfishness.
  • Cultural Activities such as drawing colorful designs(Rangoli),Exhibiting dolls(Bommala Koluvu) encourages a habit of socializing in their places for young girls.

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