What is the significance of the Bail Pola festival?
Bail Pola is only one of many celebrations common to Indian culture. Farmers hold this celebration to honour the bulls that pull their ploughs, allowing them to plant crops and prepare the land for planting and harvesting.
In Hinduism, the cow is revered as a sacred creature worthy of veneration. Bail Pola is observed in the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, as well as Telangana. This day is also known as Pola Amavasya in some places.
The Hindu deities are often depicted with animal companions, such as the bull Nandi, who is Lord Shiva's, and the cow, which is Krishna's. Farmers in Maharashtra celebrate a holiday known as Bail Pola, or Bullock Pola, to show their appreciation for their livestock.
Today is Kushopatini Amavasya, the full moon of the Hindu calendar month of Shravana. Consequently, on this day, farmers in the Vidarbha region honour bulls by decorating them.
On the Amavasya of the Shravan month, farmers across the nation worship their livestock such as cows and bullocks as a part of their appreciation and encouragement towards them to take part in sacred rites before putting them to rest. They give the cattle baths and adorn them with bright ribbons and bells. On this day, a lively procession is held to honour the religious animals with the accompaniment of drums, dhols, and other instruments. The day is spent honouring the cows and animals that have long served as the backbone of farms throughout.
It is the Pithori Amavasya of Shravan month, which occurs on the day that Bail Pola occurs. On the evening of Friday, August 26th, 2022, farmers will gather to honour the cattle that provide their livelihood during Bail Pola 2022. In Maharashtra, the event is known as Pola Marathi and is celebrated with great merriment. Panchang predicts that sunrise will occur around 5:50 a.m., which is the best time for the farmers to give their bulls and cows a ritual bath. Festivals honouring Pola are known as Pongal in the south and Godhan in the north of India.
For this joyous celebration, bulls get morning oil massages after being washed clean. Farmers in Maharashtra dress their bulls up for a procession by decorating them with shawls, flowers, bells, and other decorations. Farmers celebrate this day by lavishing extra attention on the livestock that provides the bulk of their income. The oxen are given a day off from work and are able to chill out on Bail Pola. The traditional Maharashtrian dish Puran Poli is being made for the celebration. After the holy parade of the cattle, people go door-to-door and meet each other, while also decorating their homes with torans and rangolis, preparing puja thalis, and feasting on the deliciously prepared specialities. To perform the aarti of the livestock, ghee is also used to light the earthen lamps. For the festival, the kids also make wooden sculptures of bulls. As a result, the people of Maharashtra celebrate Bail Pola with great jubilation to recognise the value of cattle to their way of life.
It was on this date that a young Krishna slew the demon Polasur. On this special day, we pause to remember the importance of both children and animals.
In recognition of the vital role they play in the agricultural and farming industries, bulls and oxen are honoured on this day.
The bulls get a full body wash, from horns to tails, their horns painted, and their ropes and bells swapped over.
The cows, oxen, and bullocks are bathed in turmeric and oil the day before the festival and then adorned with colourful decorations.
On this day, farmers let their bulls and oxen rest while the women in their communities honour the animals by decorating their homes with rangoli and garlands of colourful thread.
The family takes the bulls' and oxen's blessing by touching their feet, and the women prepare excellent meals.
The next day of the festival is the day when farmers start to plough and sow their fields.