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Huttari Festival 2022 Date In Kodagu District Of Karnataka - Importance - How Is Huttari Observed?

Huttari is a harvest festival observed in Kodagu district and nearby regions of Karnataka. The festival is observed when Rohini nakshatra falls on the full moon day in Margashirsh month (November – December). The festival is associated with ‘puthari’ or new paddy. Puthari is celebrated in the Kodava month of Birchiyar, which falls in November and December. 

Rice cultivation is a community-oriented activity — one had to rely on neighbors to help with transplanting and harvesting. So, you find that many of the customs — the dances, feasts, the bringing in of new household implements and so on — are all directed at building solidarity. It’s also a time when people reconnect with our own clans; the dudi patkaras (traditional singers) walk from one ancestral home to another, singing the histories of clans, re-establishing our links with our heritage, and the land.

The festival marks the harvesting of paddy. The paddy is first offered to the temple deity of a particular area. Prasadam or food offering is distributed among the farmers and devotees. They then venture into the paddy fields to harvest paddy.

Elakki Puttuthara a special dish is prepared on the day. Freshly harvested rice is also used to make payasam or sweet using jaggery. Farmers wear traditional dress and participate in traditional dance. All the members of the family sit together and have sumptuous meal.

Freshly harvested rice paddy and corn are hung are tied in front of the house.

Puthari celebrates the new crop of rice that promises a year of abundance; it’s a time of thanksgiving, and is the most important festival of the year for Kodavas.

How Is Huttari Festival Observed?

On a predetermined day, at a fixed time after dusk, the Nere Kattuvo ceremony is first held, wherein leaves of certain trees are tied together and later placed at different corners of the house. Men in traditional kupya chele and women wearing Kodava saree then go to the paddy field, led by a woman holding a taliyakki bolcha (lamp) under the light of the full moon.

Here the Khadh Edpo ceremony is held. The eldest man of the family called the patedara cuts an odd number of paddy sheaves (khadh) and they return carrying the harvested crop in a kuthi (a sacred bamboo container) while uttering Poli Poli deva — praying for a bountiful year.

The paddy sheaves are placed in front of the nellaki bolcha (sacred lamp) at the ainmane (ancestral home) and people pray for a good harvest. Then two special types of desserts — thambutt (made from roasted rice flour and mashed banana) and rice payasam — are prepared.

The day ends with children bursting firecrackers and a wholesome meal.

Traditionally, Puthari would be followed by week-long celebrations. On the days following Puthari, a few people would go door-to-door visiting every house in the hamlet and sing songs eulogizing the family members of that house, beating a dudi (traditional hourglass drum). This formed part of the mane paado (singing at houses) ceremony. Children of the hamlet would tag along with these singers in merriment.

On the last day of the celebrations, people would visit the mandh, the sacred grounds of the village, and men would perform kol aat, a traditional stick dance.