Bhogi is celebrated today by millions of people, especially the farming community. Bhogi is the first day of the Sankranthi or Pongal festival, which is celebrated for 3 days. Bhogi is celebrated in honor of the Lord Indra, the God of rains and clouds. On this day People seek blessings of Lord Indra for an abundant harvest and prosperity. Hence, Bhogi is also known as Indran in some parts of India.
People wake up early in the morning and thoroughly clean their houses. In Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu women decorate the front yard of their houses with rangoli (also known as kollam or muggulu) and farmers conduct a special puja before cutting paddy in their fields. Farmers pray to the earth and sun and anoint their sickles and ploughs with sandal wood paste. Then they proceed to the farms to cut the paddy.
In South India, people light up bonfires in front of their homes. They keep the fires burning by throwing useless household articles such as old clothes, old wooden furniture etc. They also burn agricultural waste in the bonfires. Women sing songs and dance around the bonfires and recollect the glories of the spring season and different Gods. The bonfires also symbolize the disposal or burning of old habits, vices and attachment to materials and relations.
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