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Bhogi festival – 1st day of the festival


Bhogi is the first day of the four-day Pongal festival. According to the Gregorian calendar, it is normally celebrated on 13 January but sometimes it is celebrated on 14 January. The festival is celebrated in the Southern States of India as the first day of the harvest festival of Pongal. It is the day of discarding everything that is old and thus bringing in new fortune and prosperity in their lives. In the Tamil Calendar, this corresponds to the last day of the month of Maargazhi. Bhogi is a festival celebrated widely in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Telangana.

Bhogi Festival – Spiritual significance

The festival of 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, Bhogi 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 for being together with the family members.

Homes are cleaned and decorated with “Rangoli” – floor designs drawn in the white paste of newly harvested rice with outlines of red mud. Often pumpkin flowers are set into cow-dung balls and placed among the patterns on Bhogi day. Fresh harvest of rice, turmeric, and sugarcane is brought in from the field as preparation for the following day

Bhogi festival – the bonfire

Another ritual observed on Bhogi is Bhogi Mantalu, when useless household articles are thrown into a fire made of wood and cow-dung cakes. Girls dance around the bonfire, singing songs in praise of the gods, the spring, and the harvest. The significance of the bonfire, which is burnt the agricultural wastes and firewood is to keep warm during the last lap of winter.

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