Telangana's floral festival Bathukamma will be celebrated in eight countries this year in an initiative by a non-profit organisation, Telangana Jagruthi, led by Kalvakuntla Kavitha, a member of the state's Legislative Council.
The festival, to be celebrated from September 25 to October 3 this year, pays respects to nature by making large stacks of flowers, called Bathukamma. It got global attention last year after it was showcased on a screen at Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, in Dubai.
Today, MLC Kavitha, daughter of Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, launched the posters for the global Bathukamma celebrations.
"The festival espouses the philosophy of 'what comes from nature goes into nature'," says the organisation's website.
It explains, "Bathukamma — the word is a conjugation of 'Bathuku' (life) and 'Amma' (mother)... Hence, the protector of life and its journey is personified as the mother,"
The NGO started organising the festival with groups of women across the Telangana region, it says. "These groups of women would come together and prepare ornate stacks or mounds using flowers... locally grown in the Telangana... During the days of the festival celebrations, people worship various gods and goddesses," says the NGO on its website, "The first outcome of a such a festival is the feeling of unity in womanhood."
The festival is celebrated for nine days during Navratris — this time is considered auspicious in Hindu and other traditions — when the crop season changes.
"The significance of this timing is that by this time of the year, the otherwise usually semi-arid region of Telangana receives rainfall, which renders the landscape lush and green... The re-invigorated landscape, the prospect of prosperity to the farmers, sufficiency of the food and water, all combine to imbue the people with a festive and joyous disposition," says Telangana Jagruthi.