Pola:Know about the Bull festival of India

Pola festival, also known as Bail(Bull) Pola or Bull festival, is celebrated by the farmers to worship the bulls tehy use for farming. It is celebrated in the state of Maharashtra, mostly in the Vidarbha region and and the state of Chhattisgarh in India. This is a traditional village festival to show respect to the bulls that help the farmers in their ploughing activities and earn their living.

Pola falls on the day of the Pithori Amavasya (the new moon day) in the month of Shravana (Hindu Month). This is a two day festival where the first day is known as the Bail Pola or Bada Pola and the second day is know as Tanha Pola or Chota Pola. This festival is called Pola because the demon Polasur was killed by Lord Krishna when he attacked Krishna as a child. This is the reason, childrens are given special treatment on the second day.

On the first day, the farmers give a good bathe to their bulls and then decorate them with beautiful ornaments. The bulls are then offered prayers by the farmers and are also given special food to eat. The second day is specially for the children's. They carry toy bullocks(mostly made of wood) with them door-to-door and they are given some gifts like chocolates, cash, etc.

Various food delicacies are prepared on this day of which Puranpoli is the special food for the day. The festival signifies respect for the animals.

Nagpur, the capital of the Vidarbha region in India, has a different way of celebrating this festival. This festival marks the last day of Shravan, the end of monsoon and brings with it many waterborne diseases and pests which are a nuisance to people. All such health threats are destroyed in the form if Marbat(idol). The Pili and Kali marbat procession are taken from the lanes of the city.

This custom was followed from the pre-Indepependence time, when the britishers were ruling India. The small statutes of women which were worshipped and taken out of the houses as a symbole of driving away diseases and evil. But during the British Rule, this custom was also used to protest against the British. Just as we use blue colour to show dark complexion, in olden days yellow was used to show the fair complexion.

This traditional custom is followed even today with the same enthusiasm in the city.

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