Friday, August 17, 2012
Pola Festival is celebrated throughout the state of Maharashtra, in the Hindu month of Shravan (that usually coincides August). It falls on day of Pithori Amavasya (new moon day) in Shravan. The festival marks the day when farmers worship their bulls and they are not given any routine work during the two days.. On the day before Pola Festival, fa rmers remove 'vesan' (the rope) from the nostrils of their bull. Thereafter, they apply a paste of turmeric powder and ground nut oil, on its shoulders. Finally, the bull is given a hot water bath and served with khichadi, made of bajari. On the day of the festival, the bull is taken to the nearest river or pond and given a thorough bath. The farmers then paint the bull's horns and put colorful ornaments over them. Lastly, an ornamented shawl is put over the body of the bullocks and their neck is adorned with flower garlands. After decorating the bulls, the farmers worship them. Evening time is reserved for taking enthusiastic processions of all the bulls in the area, beautifully adorned, through the streets. Side by side, instruments like drums, bugles, lezims are played loudly (a typical Indian musical instrument), etc. At some of the villages in India, even fairs are organized as a part of the celebrations. The major attractions of these fairs comprise of competitions and outdoor games like volleyball, wrestling, kabaddi,etc. In towns and cities, instead of worshipping bulls, people worship their statues, either wooden or earthen. Last but not the least, Puran Poli (a sweet dish) adds the perfect flavor to the festivities.