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Coorg Festivals

The People of Coorg has a unique culture and colourful festivals. The Cultural life of Coorgs depends on Village and family life. The people of Coorg celebrate all the festivals with great passion. There are three major festivals of Coorg. They are Kailpodhu, Kaveri Sankramana and Puttari.

1. Kailpodhu

Kalipodhu is celebrated when the end of the paddy sowing has come to pass and the close of the agricultural working season is near. The day signifies the completion of transplantation of rice or paddy crop. The festival also signifies the day men should prepare to safeguard their crop from wild boars and other animals.

On this day the weapons are taken out of the Pooja room, cleaned and decorated with flowers. They are then kept in the central hall of the house, the place of community worship. Each member of the family has a bath and then they worship the weapons.

Followed by this there is feasting and drinking. Everyone gather in an open ground for games and sports. Coconut Shies, conduct races, and hold marksman competitions takes place.

In the past days hunting and cooking those animal also was a part of the game. But nowadays hunting is not conducted and instead of that shooting competitions are conducted.

2. Kaveri Sankramana

Kaveri Sankramana is one of the chief festivals of the Coorgs. This festival is associated with the river Kaveri, which flows through the district from its source at Talakaveri. This time of the year the source of Kaveri River rises. The Holy water rise every year.

This Festival is to mark the renewal of the river Kaveri. Thousands of people come to take a dip in this holy water. Traditionally, on the morning of Theerthodbhava Day, the Coorg families get ready for the event by cutting the branches of the Ponge Mara, found in the forests of Coorg.

The Next day, early in the morning, the woman of the house takes bath and fills a platter with rice and on that three betel nuts, three betel leaves, a cucumber or coconut that has been wrapped in a red silk scarf known as a vastra and a small lamp is also keep with these. Some bangles made of glass are placed on the rice and the whole platter is then decorated with flowers.

Once the lamp has been lit, the family will gather around and throw rice on the cucumber or coconut to invoke the Goddess Kaveri and ask her to give her blessing by touching the platter and then placing their hands on their foreheads.

After this has been completed, the woman touches her husband's feet and asks for his blessings. The menu of the day is dosa, vegetable curry and payasa, a dessert. Non-vegetarian food is not cooked on this day. This is the only festival wherein non-vegetarian food is not prepared.

3. Puttari

Puttari is the traditional harvest festival of the Coorgs. Puttari means new rice. Either in the month of November or early in December a few day before the festival, when the crops are ready for harvest and there is full moon in the sky every family members in each village assemble and pray to the gods, show their gratitude for another plentiful year.

On Puttari day, the whole family come together in their ain-mane, the family house decorated with flowers and green mango and banana leaves. Special foods are prepared which include thambuttu, puttari, kari, and poli poli.

Then the eldest member of the family hands a sickle to the head of the family, and one of the women leads a procession to the paddy fields, with a lit lamp in her hands. Followed by these symbolic harvesting of crop begins.

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