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Procedure For Bhogi Pallu

The 1st day of the 4-day Sankranti festival is celebrated as Bhogi Panduga by the Telugu people. The Telugu word 'Panduga' means festival. This festival has much of social significance than religious importance. It is a festival of family gathering. Telugu people are engaged in many activities on Bhogi / Sankranti day.

Bhogi pallu is one of the main (special) activities of Bhogi day.

What are Bhogi Pallu

Bhogi pallu (the Telugu word 'pallu' means fruits) is a special item made of seasonal berries (regi pallu / any available seasonal berries), petals of seasonal flowers / seasonal flowers, currency coins, small pieces of sugarcane, whole Bengal gram soaked overnight and akshantalu (i.e little turmeric powder mixed in rice).
In the evening before sunset, small children of the family below 5 years of age are seated on a chair. The elderly ladies of the family, friends / neighbors who are invited, take hands full of 'bhogi pallu' and place these or pour these on the child's head. This is actually a way of warding off 'dishti' i.e evil eye on the children, if any. Small children are easily prone to evil eyes because of which they often suffer from ill health, though scientifically their body takes time to adapt to the surroundings. It is believed that Bhogi pallu protects children from evil eye.

How to celebrate Bhogi Pallu

On the Bhogi day morning, wash the hair of your child and dress him / her in new clothes, preferably traditional one. Make preparations in the afternoon, so that you can celebrate the function before sunset.

Take a big bowl and mix colorful petals of seasonal flowers, currency coins, regipallu i.e. locally available berries, small pieces of sugarcane, whole Bengal gram (senagalu) soaked overnight and 'akshantalu'. Place a chair facing East and spread a silk saree or cloth on it. Keep all the materials like bowl containing bhogi pallu, pasupu, kumkuma, chandanam, karpooram (camphor), harati pallem and taambulam on a side table.

Invite friends and relatives for an evening perantam. When all are gathered, let your baby or child sit on the chair facing East. Apply kumkuma on your babies forehead and gandham i.e chandanam on the neck. Take a handful of 'bhogi pallu', turn it over the head of the child first in clockwise and then anti-clockwise direction and then place / pour these on the child's head. First the mother has to pour bhogi pallu followed by the other elderly ladies, one after the other. This should be done in the evening before sunset.
Note: In case, the invited ladies come late or if you are in a place where there is early sunset due to winter, nothing to worry. Mother can pour 'Bhogi pallu' and offer 'harati' before sun sets and place the bowl / plate of 'Bhogi pallu' aside. When the invited ladies come, they can pour 'bhogi pallu' one after the other.
At the end give mangala haarati to the baby. All the elderly ladies can hold the harati pallem and can sing harati paatalu i.e songs. After it is done, you can give taambulam to the ladies. It is believed that this is a way of getting rid of the evil eye i.e. dishti on the children. Do not let the other children to collect the bhogi pallu that are dropped on the floor. Instead collect everything in a bag and give to maid-servant.

Date of Bhogi this year (2021) - January 13th, 2021 (Wednesday).

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