Holi - Ukkuli of konkani community kochi,Gosripuram

Holi - Ukkuli of konkani community kochi #Gosripuram

Konkani community celebrates Holi in a slightly different way.From the next day of Sivarathri, ie. Amavasya of Maga month toPournima of Phalgun month, children gather together in the evenings,play and dance in anticipation of Holi, a day, when bad omens hoveringover the temple and its surroundings are removed.On the Maga Amavasya day, following Sivarathri, an artificial humaneffigy(phodho), made of cloth and hay,is made by the temple authorities with the help of some artists from the community and fixed on the trunk of a peepul tree, on the western side of the temple and left it there, till it is removed on the Ukkuli day and burnt.In the forenoon of Trayodashi falling just before the Pournami of Phalgun month, two areca nut trees (proxies for a man and a woman) donated by members of the community are brought and planted temporarily on the western side of the temple. The temple authorities inform the community,through a paricharaka by means of beating a drum, about the arrival of areca nut trees and the same will be burnt on the midnight of Trayodashi/ early morning of Chathurdashiand while burning the same, the community members should not come outof the house. The areca nut trees are burnt in a bonfire on Traodashi/Chathurdashi midnight/early morning on Chathurdashi day, by the paricharakas of the temple,without the presence of any of the other community members.This bonfire is called Holika Dahan.The 2nd day, ie. Chathurdashi is a festive day for all families. Therewill be a feast at every home with special items like Puranpoli,Paysu(kheer), Laddu, Phadi Kalleyleli, Polyan Kheeri, etc.On the third day of the festival, ie, on Pournami day, a festival dayknown as Ukkuli, early morning, many of the men and children of thecommunity gather together near the place where the effigy is hung,bring it down, and then take it in a procession all around the placeswhere the community members reside. While taking it around, the effigyis beaten with a wooden stick. They sing odd songs loudly. During thisprocession, the paricharakas of the temple collect a small quantity ofrice and turmeric from each house-hold, for using it for thebhoothbali,later that night. Men and children in the procession wearodd colourful clothes for the occasion.The procession finally terminates on the north-western side of thetemple just after noon and the effigy is burnt, shouting the death ofthe demon. This festive occasion is generally known as Kama Dahanam.After this, all members gather outside temple premises, receiveTheertham, which is called Proksham,and paste of turmeric, called moly, from the temple Pujari. Then,while the community members consisting of mainly males and children take a parikrama of the temple through the streets, where the community members reside, they forcefully, yet playfully, throw water mixed with turmeric or other colours kept in large vessels outside each house, on each other. At the end of the parikrama,these members go to the temple tank and take a dip bath and return to their respective homes to partake the food, RONTOSSO ANI THOY, specially prepared for the occasion.On the same day, in the night, the temple prepares the ‘Bali’ foodusing the rice and turmeric powder received in the morning from thevarious homes. The paricharakas of the temple take this Balipreparation in the midnight and deposit at the four corners of thetemple locality. These four corners are known as Sankarshana Stones,which generally enclose the area where the community reside. The Baliis meant for the ‘spirits’ assumed to be roaming in the areas and it is hoped that they will be satisfied with this Bali and ensure that no harm is brought on the community members. The community members are informed before hand that they should not cross the Bali during the night, once it is placed at respective places.The Festive occasion of Holi comes to an end with this activity.The Gaud Sarawat Brahmins (GSB) of Kochi celebrate Holi in Cherlai area of West Kochi, in their own community. It is locally called Ukkuli in Konkani or Manjal(turmeric) Kuli in Malayalam. It is celebrated around Gosripuram Tirumala Devaswom

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