Pola Festival in Maharashtra is a bull-worshipping festival. Pola Festival is celebrated by farmers mainly in the Indian state of Maharashtra, the western part of India.
Occasion of Pola Festival
On the day of Pola festival, the farmers decorate and worship their bulls. Pola festival falls on the day of the Pithori Amavasya, the new moon day in the month of Shravana, especially in the month of late July and the beginning of August.
Worshipping the Bulls in Pola Festival
On the day of Pola festival, the sacred bulls are first given a bath, and then decorated with ornaments and shawls. Their horns are painted, and their necks are adorned with garlands of flowers. Then, they are worshipped by their owners.
In Pola Festival of Western Ghats region, the centre of attraction is the procession of bulls. The procession of decorated bulls is accompanied by music and dance of regional basis that is carried out in the evenings.
Reasons behind Pola Festival
The main reason to celebrate Pola Festival is to show the respect to domestic animals as the farmers depend on them for farming needs. Millions of stars in the sky on this night form an appearance as a wheat floor is extended all across the sky. The farming activities which include sowing and ploughing, starts only after this festival. The day before Pola Festival, farmers take away the rope usually called "vesan" from their bullocks’ nostrils. Afterwards, the ground nut oil and a paste of turmeric powder are applied on their shoulders.
Procession of Pola Festival
The first bullock in Pola Festival to go out is an old bullock with a wooden frame (called makhar) tied on its horns. This bullock is made to break a rope of mango leaves stretched between two posts, and is followed by all the other cattle in the village. The order of the cattle is often indicative of the social standing of their owners in the village. In some villages, the regional fairs are organized, where competitions of bullock races take place.
Cuisines in Pola Festival
Pola Festival in Maharashtra is the main festival of the peasants of the Maharashtra, especially the Kunbis tribal people. Puran Poli, Karanji, and curry with five vegetables are the main dishes associated with the festival.