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Things you need to know about Bhogi festival:

Bhogi, which is one of the four-day Pongal festival is widely celebrated across South India. Bhogi is also the festival that commences festival season across India. In Andhra Pradesh and Telengana, it is called as “భోగి” and in Tamil Nadu, it is known as “போகி”. Interestingly, according to the Gregorian calendar, this festival (unlike any other festival in India) is celebrated on 13th of January every year. At some sometimes it is celebrated on 14th January. Usually in India, festivals are celebrated according to “Thiti” and “masa”. People across South Indian states celebrates Bhogi and other Pongal festivals to mark the end of crop season (In Tamil Nadu, it marks the last day of the Tamil month “Maargazhi”).

On the day of Bhogi:

On the first day of Pongal festival or on Bhogi, people wake up early in the morning and start their day by lighting up old and derelict things in their house. The process also includes the use of wood, old furniture and other fuel items. According to the belief, disposal of old and derelict things will help them give up their old habits and attachment to material things. This is a kind of ritual, which is commonly called as “Bhogi mantalu” in Telengana and Andhra Pradesh. It is a kind of festival that drives away negative energy from the house or from surroundings and brings in positive energy.

Apart from disposing off old items in the home, people clean out each and every corner of their homes. Bhogi is the festival that brings all family members together and some domestic activities across the livelihood.

Resolution and Transformation:

Soon after disposing or burning of old things, people focus on opting a new resolution or positive transformation of their livelyhood. In other words, it marks the start of a new life for many individuals. It gives them a hope of positive future and hope to rebuild their life with a positive approach. It is important to transform yourself by purification of soul by imbibing several divine virtues.

South Indian culture also suggests that Bhogi, first of four day Pongal festival is celebrated in the honor of lord Indra. He is considered as the God of Clouds and Rains. God Indra is worshiped across the lands in order to bring prosperity and happiness to the land. People also worship Goddess “Lakshmi Devi”, who is a Goddess of all forms of wealth.

Sankranthi Muggu:

One of the most important things that people would do on a Bhogi festival is to decorate their houses and their surroundings. Sankranthi Muggu is a floor design, which is also known as “kolam” or “Rangoli” in Northern India can be witness during Pongal festive season. Without Kolam or Sankranthi Muggu, the Pongal festival will be incomplete. Most women (across the age-groups) will participate in designing their floors with creative rangoli designs. Additionally, we can witness cow-dung balls placed in the centre of the Kolam.

There are several things that are done on the first day of Pongal, including bringing fresh harvest of sugarcane, rice and other agricultural items from the fields to prepare for the next day.