“Bhogi” is a festival which is the first day of ‘Pongal’. This day is referred to as Lord “Indra”.On this day, Lord Indra who is the God of Clouds and Rains is worshiped. Lord Indra is distinguished and worshiped for abundant harvest. Thus, bringing plenty and prosperity to the land.
People cleaning their house from top to bottom, collect all the unwanted items. They usually spend their time in domestic activities with their family members.
Each and every house of the well to do and whitewashed. After homes are cleaned, they are decorated with ‘kolams’. These are floor designs drawn with a white paste of rice outlined with red mud. Five petal pumpkin flowers set in lumps of cow-dung are placed in ‘kolams’ for decoration.
Before the end of the day, fresh harvest of rice, turmeric and sugarcane are bring from Fields.
Other Name of Bhogi :-
- Bhogi pandigai
- Lohri in Punjab
- Maghi Bihu or Bhogali Bihu in Assam
Puja on Bhogi :-
On this first day, a special puja is offered before cutting of rice. Farmers worship sun and earth by anointing all their secrets and sickles with sandalwood paste. After that they use these pure tools to cut newly harvested rice.
Spiritual significance of Bhogi :-
Bhogi is the day devoted to Lord “Indra”. The god of rain and cloud. Therefore, this day is also known as (Indra). Farmers worship Indra to seek his blessings for a good harvest that would bring wealth and achievement to them.
The Bonfire :
Another ritual performed on the first Pongal day is ‘Bhogi Mantalu’. Useless household articles are thrown into the fire made of wood and cow-dung cakes. Girls dance around this bonfire. They sing songs in compliments of Gods, spring and harvest. Main purpose for burning agriculture wastes and firewood is for keeping warm during last lap or winter.
Rituals of Bhogi :-
- People discard all old things at home on this day marking the beginning of the new era.
- Floral designs called ‘kolam’ with freshly harvested rice flour paste and red markings are made by women of the house as per traditions.
- On this day Houses are cleaned and whitewashed and are decorated with Marigold flowers, mango leaves and new things.
- Fresh cow-dung cakes called ‘gobbemma’ are placed within these designs.
- Food is cooked with freshly harvested rice, sugarcane and turmeric on this day.
- Women of the family chant mantra and sing songs in praise of the Gods while taking rounds around the holy fire.
- On this day women wear new clothes and ornaments after taking a holy dip.
- On this day Farmers worship their ploughs and other instruments. The instrument are smeared with kumkum and sandalwood paste and offerings are made to the Sun God and mother Earth before the first rice is cut on this day
- Bhogi Mantalu is a ritual that is habitual in some areas. Here a bonfire is lit with cow-dung cake and wood and all old items and clothes are sacrificed in this fire.
- All agriculture and household waste like mats and broom sticks are thrown into the fire.
- As a mark of a festive mood, the horns of buffaloes in the village are often painted and decorated by the local people.
- Pongal panal is a ritual that follows Bhogi, during which new earthern pots are painted and decorated with flowers and mango leaves.
- This day signifies family get togethers and meeting friends and relatives.
- Bhogi pallu is ready by keeping freshly harvested rice and fruits along with money.this is then distributed among children.
- This festival is marked with activities such as rangoli making and rural sports such as kite flying, cock fights and bull fighting.
When is Bhogi Celebrated ?
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”.When the sun changes its position from the South to the North hemisphere. According to the English calendar, it falls between 13-16 January.
Bhogi festival dates between 2017 and 2027
|2017||Friday,13th of January|
|2018||Saturday,13th of January|
|2019||Monday,14th of January|
|2020||Tuesday, 14th of January|
|2021||Wednesday,13th of January|
|2022||Thursday,13th of January|
|2023||Saturday,14th of January|
|2024||Sunday,14th of January|
|2025||Monday,13th of January|
|2026||Tuesday,13th of January|
|2027||Thursday,14th of January|