Brathukamma Festival Celebrated At The Dayton Hindu Temple In Ohio

Over 600 people from across the state of Ohio, colorfully dressed in traditonal Indian attire came together to celebrate and be part of the Brathukamma Festival celebrations, Organized by Premalatha Kathula and the Board of Hindu Community Organization in Dayton. OH at the Dayton Temple in Dayton, Ohio on Saturday, October 21st, 2023. Women and children, dressed in vibrant traditional attire, participated in group dances like the Bathukamma dance, adding to the festive atmosphere.

“The presence of hundereds of participants in this beautiful floral festival was a wonderful experience,” said Dr. Satheesh Kathula, President-Elect of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin. “The coming together of the people of Indian origin from the North, South, East and West to celebrate the culture and festivities was an amazing and memorable experience,” he added.

The popular Dayton Hindu Temple, which was constructed in 1978, hosts Navaratri celebrations every year throughout this festive season, with every day of the colorful festive season is hosted by one particular community that takes the lead and organizes and celebrates the festival.

The festivities organized on October 21 st , 2023 by the Telugu community in the region, celebrated the Bathukamma, a vibrant and culturally rich festival in the Telangana state. This nine-day celebration steeped in tradition and history, was a joyous occasion that brings together communities to worship and revel in the beauty of nature.

Bathukamma Festival is a vibrant and culturally significant celebration in the Indian state of Telangana and some parts of Andhra Pradesh. The festival typically lasts for nine days and is celebrated with great enthusiasm and grandeur. The Saddula Bathukamma is celebrated on the 9th day which is on the 22nd of October, Sunday.

Bathukamma is a Telugu word, “Bathuku”which means “life” or “alive.” It signifies vitality and existence. “Amma” is a term used in Telugu and many other Indian languages to refer to “mother” or a revered female figure. Bathukamma refers to “Mother Goddess” or “Life-Giver Goddess.” It symbolizes the worship of a female deity, often representing nature, fertility, and the source of life itself. The Bathukamma festival 2023 celebrates the goddess’s blessings and the vitality she brings to the land, especially during the harvest season.

The Bathukamma Festival 2023 began with the gathering of seasonal flowers and leaves from fields, gardens, and wild areas. Women and girls come together to create a colorful and intricate floral arrangement called “Bathukamma.” This arrangement is the centerpiece of the festival.

Each of the nine days of the Bathukamma festival 2023 has a specific name and ritual associated with it. Devotees perform various rituals, including prayers, songs, and dances around the Bathukamma. The rituals are dedicated to the goddess Gauri, who represents life and nature.Telangana festival Bathukamma is not just about flowers and rituals; it’s a cultural extravaganza.

Throughout the Bathukamma festival 2023, there were performances of traditional Telugu folk songs and dances.

The Bathukamma Festival 2023 is also a time to savor traditional Telugu cuisine. Special dishes are prepared and offered to the goddess as Naivedyam (food offerings). These dishes include sweets like bobbatlu and savory items like atlu (dosas). Bathukamma fosters a sense of community and togetherness. Women of all ages come together to create Bathukammas, sing songs, dance, and pray. It’s a time for families and friends to unite, reinforcing social bonds. Bathukamma promotes environmental consciousness. The use of seasonal flowers and organic materials in the floral arrangement is not only visually stunning but also eco-friendly. After the Bathukamma festival 2023, the flowers are traditionally immersed in water bodies, ensuring minimal environmental impact. Bathukamma has gained popularity as a tourist attraction. People from different parts of India and around the world visit Telangana to witness the grandeur of the celebrations and experience the unique culture of the region.

The Bathukamma Festival 2023 celebrates womanhood and empowers women to take the lead in cultural and religious activities. Women play a central role in the creation and worship of Bathukamma. The Bathukamma 2023 End date was on 22nd October 2023, which was the grand ending of the Bathukamma Festival 2023, known as Saddula Bathukamma or Pedda Bathukamma. On this day, the Bathukammas are immersed in local water bodies, symbolizing the goddess’s return to nature.

Bathukamma has ancient origins, dating back to the rule of the Chola Dynasty in the 3rd century CE. It was traditionally celebrated by women as a prayer for a good harvest and the well-being of
their families.

On the last day Ashwayuja Ashtami (Durga Ashtami) the grand culmination, Saddula Bathukamma or Pedda Bathukamma, is celebrated on the ninth day with a larger floral arrangement. It is the most significant and colorful part of the Bathukamma festival 2023, symbolizing the goddess’s return to nature.

Five types of rice and one sweet dish: Curd Rice, Lemon Rice, Tamarind Rice, Tamarind Rice with Coconut Powder, Tamarind Rice with Sesame Seed Powder and Malleda (Balls made with
chapati and sugar). These offerings are common, but there may be regional variations in the types of foods offered during the Bathukamma Festival 2023.

Regardless, these nine days are a time of cultural richness and spiritual devotion, celebrating the goddess and the harvest season. The Bathukamma Festival 2023 in Telangana is a spectacular
celebration of culture, nature, and community. It is a testament to the rich heritage and traditions of the region and serves as a beautiful expression of gratitude to the goddess for her blessings.

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