Pola is a festival related to bull-worshiping and celebrated by farmers generally in Maharashtra state in India. Pola comes in Shravana month on Pithori Amavasya day which is also called the new moon day. This is mainly celebrated in Vidharbha region. This is the special day for farmers. On this occasion, the farmers’ first give bath to their bullocks, decorate them with ornaments and worships them. In the evening, the parade of decorated bulls carried out with music and dance across the village. Perhaps, India is the only country in the world, where people celebrate festivals to pay respect to the animals also. 

Significance of Pola Festival

Maharashtra is a huge state and its most of the land is used for agriculture. In earlier time, bulls were considered the most useful and helpful animal for human being as they are used for agriculture as well as for other tasks. On the day of Pola, farmers show their appreciation and gratitude to their bulls for all the assistance. Bullocks are decorated properly with ornaments and given a wonderful appearance. Bulls are then worshipped and offered special food on this day. Pola is the unique aspect for the Hindu culture that shows respect to farm animals.

In some Mahrashtraian villages, fairs are also organized, where competitions happen. Pola is the major celebration of the farmers in Maharashtra and on this day, they make variety of traditional cuisines especially the curry, Puran Poli, Kunbis and karanji, together with five other vegetables.

Reasons for Celebrating the Pola

The main reason to celebrate this festival is to show the respect to animals as we depend on them for farming needs. Pola is celebrated on new moon day which is also called Pithori Amavasya. 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, ploughing, etc. starts only after this festival.

The day before Pola Festival, farmers take away the rope usually called vesan from their bullocks’ nostrils. Afterwards, ground nut oil and a paste of turmeric powder are applied on their shoulders.

Traditions on Pola

Pola is a traditional village festival and celebrated by the farmer’s community where the Bull is a significant member. During this ceremony, farmers follow the tradition to decorate their bullocks with ornaments and worship them. Farmer community cooks delicious traditional cuisines at their home. Puran Poli is the traditional sweet dish which adds the perfect flavour to this festival.
Farmers enjoy this festival by playing musical instruments like, bugles, lezims, drums etc and dance also. This is also the main festival of Chhattisgarh.

In some Indian villages, fairs are also organized for celebrations and even competitions are also planned. The key attractions of these fairs are competitions and some outdoor games such as kabaddi, volleyball, kho-kho, wrestling etc. In some cities and towns, people worship their earthen or wooden statues instead of bulls itself.

Information Essential for Tourists

India is the land of agriculture and an interesting thing is that the farmers celebrate festivals related to agriculture and animals. Tourist will get an opportunity to see the amazing part of Hindu culture as Pola is the exceptional facet for the Hindu culture that shows admiration to cattle. The village attracts many tourists during the celebration.

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