Madikeri: The Corona pandemic snatched the celebration related to Kail Muhurtha festival of Kodavas in Kodagu district.
Every year the linguistic minority tribals of the state, Kodavas celebrate Kail Muhurtha festival on September 3. But owing to Covid and week end lockdown, there is no bustling and excitement during celebration this year.
The Kodavas inhabitants of the tiny district Kodagu celebrates only three festivals in a year. The first one is Kail Muhurtha celebrated on September 3, second one Cauvery Sankramana celebrated on October 17 and third one is Puthari festival celebrated during December. Puthari is harvest festival as it is celebrated before harvesting of paddy.
Speaking to News Karnataka, Chammatira Praveen Uthappa, president of Akhila kodava samaja youth wing said that owing to land slide since last two years and Covid lockdown, farmers are in distress. The economy is yet to pick up. The tourism district is facing hardship as farmers could not get better price for agriculture produces and on other hand, prices of necessary commoditie, fuel, LPG went up.
In the past, people were using gun, lethal weapons for hunting. However, during the agriculture season, weapons are not used and are kept in a room at the house. After the agriculture activities, mainly sowing, pooja is offered to the weapons in a traditional manner and this is called Kail Muhurtha. This festival is same as Ayudha Pooja, which is celebrated by Hindus before Vijayadashami. Gauri’ flower is used for offering pooja to gun on Kail Muhurtha even oxen used in agriculture are given a bath and are decorated on the festival day. Payasam prepared with rice and jaggery are fed to the cattle. The implements used in agriculture are washed and kept in safer place for the next year.
Pork curry is the speciality of Kail Muhurtha. Consumption of alcohol is also preferred on the festival day. After offering the rituals, all assemble at ‘Mand’ (ground) in the village. By shooting in the air, the celebration commences. Children and adults take part in the sports. A coconut is tied to a tree and is shot. Later, they fix a time for hunting. This is the tradition which had been observed from the time immemorial. In the era of modernisation, many traditions are fast disappearing. However, this festival is observed with traditional fervour on Friday.