Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pola - A Maharastrian Festival

Yesterday morning I called Kusumita (K) in her office. She was busy with development of some online questionnaire for their staff. To tease her, I asked - why are you working today there should be holiday today. Today is Pola.

Plola? What is pola? K asked. I did not told her any thing & changed the topic.

Again in evening I called her, K was in shopper stop. Again to tease her I asked - How Shopper Stop is open today, today is Pola. K got irritated and again asked what is Pola. I told K look my blog tomorrow morning.

This is for K:
Maharashtra is a vast state so as its agricultural land. Bullocks were used for agriculture in olden days and other works. So, they are one of the most helpful animals to human being. Maharashtrian farmers show their appreciation to bullocks for all the help on the day of Pola.

The festival marks the day when farmers worship their bulls and it is from the next day only that ploughing and sowing of fields is started. On the day before Pola Festival, farmers 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, we see the farmers playing instruments like drums, bugles, lezims (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, kho-kho, 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.


  1. Now K understood what is Pola...very interesting festival...but i guess its also celebrated in other parts of India but with different names...

  2. I too was ignorant like K... you have put it across in a very interesting manner. :)


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