[GHHF] Bala Samskar Kendras in Janagam Mandalam, Telangana have celebrated Bonal Festival. The learned the Story Behind and participated in Dance

28 Sep 2022 154 Views

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Global Hindu Heritage Foundation is extremely happy to inform that our Bala Samskar Kendras in Janagam Mandalam  are organizing Bathukamma Festival to our young students. They help organize and facilitate the Bonalu festival. In Telangana, it is a huge festival conducted August/September of every year. Our Bala Samskar Kendras performed the festival as a way of thanking Goddess for the fulfilment of their desires and providing safety and security to the families and the villages. 
Bonalu an annual festival that is celebrated in the state of Telangana, especially in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. It is celebrated in honor of the Goddess Mahakali, who is considered to be the goddess of death and time.
Bonalu is celebrated usually during Ashada Masam that falls in July/August. Special poojas are performed for goddess Yellamma during the first and last day of the festival. The festival is considered as a form of thanksgiving to the Goddess after the fulfillment of vows
The name “Bonalu” is derived from the Sanskrit term ‘Bhojanam’. Over the years it became Bonam and eventually it is termed as Bonalu. It means food or a feast in the Telugu language. As per the festival, food is offered to the Mother Goddess Mahankali. Bonam denotes the food that is cooked in pots and then it is offered to the Goddess. In various parts of Andhra Pradesh, Bonalu includes the worship of the Goddess in a number of forms and names like Pochamma, Yellamma, Ankalamma, Peddhamma, Maremma, Dokkalamma, Poleramma, and Nookalamma.

Story behind the Bonalu Festival and its Rituals
 Bonalu an annual festival that is celebrated in the state of Telangana, especially in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. It is celebrated in honor of the Goddess Mahakali, who is considered to be the goddess of death and time. It is believed that every year, the Goddess makes a comeback to her maternal home in the month of Ashada. During the time, people offer their love, respect, and devotion in the form of dance, and pots of food, bangles, and sarees.
Just as much as a family would welcome the return of their daughter into their own house, the same way, devotees are celebrating the visit of the Goddess to her own home. On this occasion, special meals are offered so that she is pleased with her people.
Bonalu gets its name from the word ‘Bonam‘, which means a meal or a feast in Telugu. It is also considered the short version of Bjojanalu. Women prepare Bonam consisting of rice, jaggery, curd, and turmeric water and carry it in a clay pot on their head.  As such, it is an offering to the Goddess, wherein she is given rice cooked with milk and jaggery in a brass or earthen pot decorated with neem leaves, turmeric and vermilion. A lit lamp is placed on top of the pot, which is then carried by women on their heads and offered — along with turmeric-vermilion, bangles and sari — to the deity in various temples.

The story of Bonalu’s origin
The origin of the festival can be traced back to 19th-century Hyderabad. In 1813, a plague broke out in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, and claimed many lives. A military battalion from Hyderabad, deployed in Ujjain, learnt of this, and prayed to Goddess Mahakali in the Mahakali Temple there to rid the cities of the plague, following which they would start worshipping her by installing her idol.
They believe that Goddess Mahankali will wipe away all diseases, and sorrows of a person.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
We appreciate it if you can help in hiring more people who can go to these villages to do Ghar Waapasi. We have employed 26 people so far. More people we hire, more villages can be covered to welcome them back and also create Chaitanya (Awareness) among the students and villagers. Also,  we are conducting 150 Bala Kendras in five States. Support one or more Kendras. 
1) Sponsor one Bala Samskar Kendra for $1000.00
2) Sponsor one Pracharak: In order to expand our base and hire one Pracharak, it would cost approximately $3000.00 - $3500.00 per year. We have five anonymous donors who sponsored 9 Pracharaks
DONATIONS
PayPal Method: To donate visit our website: savetemples.org. Click on the Donate button, then press the Purpose category, and select the General Donation category.
By Check: Or you can send a check payable to: GHHF, 14726 Harmony Lane, Frisco TX 75035. It is tax-deductible.
By Zelle: ghhfusaorg@gmail.com
By Rupees, please contact us by either phone or email.
For more information, call Prakasarao V Velagapudi 601-918-7111; Email: ghhfusaorg@gmail.com

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