Huthri(Puthari) festival was celebrated with grandeur and traditional fervor in Mysuru and Kodagu districts yesterday. It is a festival of harvest and getting the harvested paddy crop home.
Kodavas and members of Kodagu Gowda community visited paddy fields in their traditional attire and harvested the new crop after offering prayers.
The festival is observed either in the month of November or December on full moon day of Rohini Nakshatra. Before harvesting, they chanted ‘Poli Poli Deva,’ fired three times in the air and burst crackers.
In Mysuru, the celebrations were organised by Mysuru Kodava Samaja at Sree Cauvery Educational Institutions premises in Kuvempunagar while members of Kodagu Gowda community celebrated the fest at their Samaja premises in Vijayanagar.
The celebrations started at Cauvery School at 5.30 pm with performance of traditional Kodava dances by both men and women including small children.
‘Nere kattuva’ ritual was held at 7.35 pm followed by reaping of new paddy crop at 8.35 pm and distribution of thambutt prasada (a unique pudding made of ripe banana, coconut, jaggery/sugar, sesame, cardamom, ghee and roasted boiled rice flour) at 9.35 pm.
The menfolk, wearing their traditional attire complete with Kuppiya – Chele, Mande Thuni and Peeche Kathi and the saree-clad women accompanied by girl children holding Thaliathakki Bolcha (a bronze tray with rice, betel leaves, arecanut and a lamp) marched to the nearby fields to reap the paddy crop. The festival marks bringing home the new paddy crop from the fields, symbolic of welcome to Goddess Lakshmi, who is the presiding deity of wealth.
A festival primarily confined to Kodagu in the past is now being celebrated in cities too where there is a considerable population of Kodavas. And Mysuru Kodava Samaja has been striving to keep the tradition alive by hosting the Puthari Eedu and Festival get-together annually.
Puthari Eedu was held for five days from Dec.6 to Dec.10 daily at 6 pm at the Kodava Samaja premises in Vijayanagar where traditional Kodava dances are practiced with the cultural troupe members and new-comers, according to Kekada M. Belliappa, President and Malachira M. Ponnappa, Hon. Secretary of Kodava Samaja, Mysuru. Hundreds of Kodavas attended the celebrations in city last evening. On the occasion, the Samaja felicitated the men’s cultural troupe that won prize in the competition held at Balugodu Samaja recently.