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Dive into the vibrant festival of Bonalu! Experience the rich tradition, color, and spirit of gratitude unique to this Telangana celebration.
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July 7
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Mark your calendars for a riot of colors, devotion and tradition! Bonalu, a grand festival from the Indian state of Telangana, falls on July 7. This spirited celebration dates back to the 19th century, and is held with much pomp and gaiety to honor the Mother Goddess in each regional form of 'Shakti'. Bonalu is a fusion of history, culture, and faith, underscoring the local community's deep appreciation for life and its blessings. This thanksgiving festival is rife with nourishing food offerings, dynamic music and dance forms, and enthusiastic processions, turning Telangana into a vibrant spectacle every July. Dive in, and let the spirited charm of Bonalu fill you with warmth and gratitude!

History of Bonalu

Bonalu Dates

Bonalu Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1800s</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Origin of Bonalu Festival</div><div class='timeline-text'>The Bonalu festival is believed to have started in the 1800s during the time of a major cholera outbreak. The locals turned to the Mother Goddess for help and protection.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1911</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Festival Adopted by Nizams</div><div class='timeline-text'>During the Nizam era, the festival was given official endorsement in Hyderabad and Secunderabad.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1975</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Bonalu Declared Public Holiday</div><div class='timeline-text'>The Government of Telangana declared Bonalu a public holiday in 1975, giving the festival further importance and wider acknowledgment.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2014</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Bonalu Becomes State Festival</div><div class='timeline-text'>The Telangana Government declares Bonalu as a state festival shortly after the formation of Telangana state.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>Present Day</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Celebrations Continue</div><div class='timeline-text'>Despite various challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, this vibrant festival showcasing devotion, colorful rituals, and processions continues to be celebrated annually on July 7 in Telangana.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Bonalu

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Join a traditional procession</h3><p class='facts-text'>Experience the festival's spirit by participating in one of the many processions or 'Jatharas'. These processions are exuberant and filled with dancers, drummers, and women carrying 'ghatams' (decorated pots) containing food offerings for the goddess. You can participate or simply watch and enjoy the energy.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Cook a festive dish</h3><p class='facts-text'>Create a meal that's part of the traditional Bonalu offerings. Many people prepare 'Sakinalu', 'Ariselu', and 'Pulusu' - classic dishes associated with this festival. Trying your hand at making these dishes can help connect you to the culture and the spirit of Bonalu. Share your home cooked meal with friends and family to spread the festival cheer.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Wear colorful attire</h3><p class='facts-text'>Bonalu is known for its colorful display and vibrant costumes. Don a traditional Saree or Dhoti in vibrant colors, complete with traditional jewelry, to get in the mood of the festivity. You can also encourage your family and friends to do the same, adding to the overall vibrancy.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Visit a local temple</h3><p class='facts-text'>Visiting a local temple during Bonalu is a must-do. Even in areas where Bonalu is not traditionally celebrated, Hindu temples will often hold special services in honor of the goddess. Participate in the 'Pothuraju' dance, one of the many highlight of the occasion that demonstrates fearlessness and loyalty towards the goddess.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Learn a traditional dance moves</h3><p class='facts-text'>Bonalu is known for its traditional dances including 'Dappu' and 'Perini'. These dances are a sight to behold, filled with energy and zest. Whether you decide to learn these dances yourself or simply watch them being performed, is sure to be a memorable experience.</p></div></div>

Why We Love Bonalu

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Bonalu is a vibrant cultural experience</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>The rich tradition, color, and spirit of Bonalu captivates us! With its vibrant processions, traditional dances, and colorful attire, the festival offers a unique opportunity to immerse ourselves into the fascinating culture of Telangana and experience the joyous celebration of the local community.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>The festival's spirit of gratitude</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Bonalu is a celebration of thanksgiving that lets you embrace the feelings of appreciation and gratitude to life and its blessings. The heartwarming sense of community during Bonalu, as people come together to honor the Mother Goddess, truly makes it a festival to love and cherish.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Bonalu offers a gastronomical delight</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>The festival provides an excellent chance to try out traditional dishes associated with it. Whether it's preparing Sakinalu or Ariselu or Pulusu, the festival of Bonalu becomes a gastronomic adventure encouraging us to cook, share, and enjoy these traditional foods with our friends and family. With such diverse food offerings, what's not to love?</p></div></div>

5 Fascinating Facts About Bonalu Festival

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>1</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Bonalu derives from the Telugu word 'Bojanalu'</h3><p class='facts-content'>The word 'Bonalu' is derived from the Telugu word 'Bojanalu', which means food. It signifies the offerings made to the goddess during this festival.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>2</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>The ritual of Rangam enhances the celebrations</h3><p class='facts-content'>In addition to the vibrant processions and dancing, Bonalu features a unique ritual known as Rangam. In this, a woman invokes the goddess and then predicts the future of the community.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>3</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>A colorful horse is a crucial part of the festivities</h3><p class='facts-content'>Bonalu sees a fun and festive spectacle, the 'Ghatam'. This is a copper pot decorated in the form of a colorful, mythical horse, that is carried by a man who dances to the rhythmic beats of drums.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>4</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Teen Maar dance adds to the festival's vibrancy</h3><p class='facts-content'>The Teen Maar dance is a significant part of the Bonalu festivities. The dancers use two stick-like objects and hit them together rhythmically, creating a captivating performance that energizes the celebrations.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>5</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>The festival is kicked off by the "Goddess Mahankali"</h3><p class='facts-content'>Bonalu starts with the Aashadam month according to the Hindu calendar. The first main temple to kick off the festivities is the Sri Jagadamba temple in Golconda Fort, believed to be the abode of "Goddess Mahankali". The limelight then moves onto other temples as the festival progresses.</p></div></div>

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