India’s festivals have a strong connection to the natural world and there are multiple festivals associated with nature respecting it. One such springtime festival held in Uttarakhand is “Phool Dei”. Every year, during the blossoming season (March-April), the festival of Phool Dei is observed in the Uttarakhand regions of Garhwal and Kumaun for around a month, in some areas for a week, and others for three days.
For those who are unaware, Phool in the festival name refers to a flower, & Dei is a ceremonial pudding that is served to everyone that day. The beginning of the new year, as indicated by the Hindu calendar, is in the Chaitra month. A wide variety of flowers blossom to usher in the new year. The festival of flowers, Phooldei, is held in Uttarakhand beginning on the first day of the Sankranti of the Chaitra month in celebration of the arrival of spring.
Kids, especially little girls visit farms, woodlands, and gardens to gather fresh flowers for the local gods as a welcome gift for the arrival of spring. According to local belief, offering flowers to the gods at the entrances of homes will bring prosperity & blessings.
On the final day of spring, the Phoolyari, or groups of youngsters, deliver flowers to the homes every day in return they get cash and treats from each family as a part of the festival. Children store flowers in their Ringal baskets, as well as green leaves, coconut, jaggery, & rice grains.
This month, trees including those that bear peach, apricot, plum, plum, cherry, almond, plum, & apple provide a symphony of color throughout Uttarakhand. When its petals are in bloom, the red rhododendron, the state tree of Uttarakhand, is a sight to behold. Throughout the celebration, mustard flowers as well as the yellow peony blossoms, are also widely used as decorations.
The Phool Dei celebrations inadvertently instilled in us a love and respect for nature, especially for the native plants and flowers. the indigenous song performed by the residents of Uttarakhand on this occasion to welcome the arrival of spring.
The Phoolyari put flowers in at least five different colors on every door on the last day of spring. The owners of each home bestow money on them in the hopes of receiving wealth and luck in return. Moreover, sweets like rice powder papdi and flour-and-jaggery pudding are served to the kids. The celebration also stands for community cohesion and peace.
Children collect and bring Phyoli, Burans, and other locally grown colourful flowers. They also carry flower pots that have been decorated with them as they visit houses with Ghogha Mata’s doli. Ghogha Mata is revered as the floral goddess. This flower goddess is only adored by kids. Children make a big show of worshipping Ghogha Mata on the festival’s final day. A communal feast is prepared during this time using rice, lentils, and offerings.
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