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Bhogi

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Introduction

Bhogi falls on the first day of the Pongal celebration. It is celebrated on the last day of the Tamil month of Margazhi. This is celebrated during Makar Sankranti during which the sun changes its position from the south to the North hemisphere. According to the English calendar, it falls between January 13-16.

Bogi festival or Bhogi is the first day of Pongal and is celebrated in honor of Lord Indra, "the God of Clouds and Rains". Lord Indra is worshiped for the abundance of harvest, thereby bringing plenty and prosperity to the land. Thus, this day is also known as Indran. On Bhogi all people clean out their homes from top to bottom, and collect all unwanted goods. This day is meant for domestic activities and of being together with the family members.

 

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History of Bhogi

Bhogi is a festival preceding the day of Makar Sankranti day of the year, more popular in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, the celebration of which festival dates back more than 1000 years, as estimated by Epigraphic studies. This festival celebrated in Tamilnadu those days, Chola kingdom had called it Puthyeedu linking it to the harvest season, nowadays the festival being observed as Pongal.

Bhogi celebrations in Andhra Pradesh have common rituals involving of lighting the bon fire in times, when all old articles in the house mostly the cloth items are used for feeding the fire which ritual goes till early morning hours.

On Bhogi day and the following three days, the homes will wear a festive look, front yards decorated with rangoli, in the midst of which yellow flowers are kept, to give fragrances and color.

Sugar Cane plants are tied in front of the house, so also the green plants with the roots of turmeric, indicating the sweetness and auspiciousness of the season.

 

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How to celebrate Bhogi

Makar Sankranti, being a harvest festival, begins with enormous joy and enthusiasm among people who set bonfires on the streets using agricultural and household wastes to mark 'Bhogi', in Southern part of the country, particularly in Andhra Pradesh.

The celebrations start very early in the morning, people cleaning their houses and they  burn old things with the faith that their lives would prosper then on, while some of the people would wear new cloths on this day.

Bhogi is said to be celebrated in honor of Indira, the chief of Hindu deities, and all the people, Men, women and children go around the bonfires with prayers, some singing the traditional songs and few dancing too. These joyous moments are mostly found among people of agricultural community

In Andhra Pradesh, people  thoroughly clean  their houses, women folk form balls  out of  cow-dung called 'Gobbemma' and organize them along the Rangoli they draw for the occasion in front of their houses.

 

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