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Bathukamma — a festival of flowers in Atlanta

November 2008
Bathukamma — a festival of flowers in Atlanta

Sharon Springs Park in Cumming, Georgia, was the scene of a colorful festival of flowers on Sunday, October 5th as over 500 people gathered to celebrate the feast of Bathukamma.

The Bathukamma festival, celebrated all over the world by people who trace their roots to the Telengana region of Andhra Pradesh, involves the worship of goddess Gauri or Parvati in the form of flowers. Women arrange flowers on a square wooden plank or a square bamboo frame with the size of frames tapering off to form a pinnacle on top, in the shape of a temple gopura. A lump of turmeric is placed on top of the flowers. This little floral mountain is worshipped as Goddess Bathukamma. The local chapter of the Telengana Development Forum, USA, organized the event.

Bathukamma celebrations in the United States have become very innovative over the years, involving people of all ages. The activities in Atlanta this year, which began with lunch, included a film show on the life and culture of the people of Telegana, a fancy dress competition, various games for boys, girls, women and couples and a competition for the best Bathukamma floral display. The evening’s festivities saw girls and women dancing around the Bathukammas, with the singing led by grandmothers visiting from India. The floral deities were later immersed in the water.

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