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Bonalu Festival 2019: Vibrant Pictures From the Thanksgiving Festival

India | Associated Press | July 29, 2019, 8:53 pm
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 Bonalu festival was celebrated in Hyderabad and Secunderabad, India, on Monday (July 29). This Hindu festival pays thanks to the Goddess Mahakali with celebrations, dances, costumes, rituals and offerings. This festival originated in the state of Telangana in 1813, following a plague epidemic in the region. A military battalion prayed to the Goddess Mahakali to spare the twin cities, which by then had already seen thousands of deaths. To show their gratitude, the battalion installed a statue of the Goddess in the city temple. Each year, residents honour and worship the Goddess with dances, mostly carried out by women, and rituals in different parts of the two cities. This is the Pothuraju ritual, named after the goddess's brother, which opens festivities. Bonalu always takes place during the months of July and August.<br /><br />An Indian artist performs during a procession of 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. Bonalu is a month-long Hindu folk festival of the Telangana region dedicated to Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction. (Image: AP)

Bonalu festival was celebrated in Hyderabad and Secunderabad, India, on Monday (July 29). This Hindu festival pays thanks to the Goddess Mahakali with celebrations, dances, costumes, rituals and offerings. This festival originated in the state of Telangana in 1813, following a plague epidemic in the region. A military battalion prayed to the Goddess Mahakali to spare the twin cities, which by then had already seen thousands of deaths. To show their gratitude, the battalion installed a statue of the Goddess in the city temple. Each year, residents honour and worship the Goddess with dances, mostly carried out by women, and rituals in different parts of the two cities. This is the Pothuraju ritual, named after the goddess's brother, which opens festivities. Bonalu always takes place during the months of July and August.

An Indian artist performs during a procession of 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. Bonalu is a month-long Hindu folk festival of the Telangana region dedicated to Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction. (Image: AP)

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 An Indian artist rides a two-wheeler while waiting to perform during a procession of 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

An Indian artist rides a two-wheeler while waiting to perform during a procession of 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

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 An Indian artist waits to perform during a procession of 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

An Indian artist waits to perform during a procession of 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

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 A devotee of the Hindu goddess Kali performs a ritual during the 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

A devotee of the Hindu goddess Kali performs a ritual during the 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

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 An idol of the Hindu goddess Kali is carried on an elephant during a procession of 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. Bonalu is a month-long Hindu folk festival of the Telangana region dedicated to Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction. (Image: AP)

An idol of the Hindu goddess Kali is carried on an elephant during a procession of 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. Bonalu is a month-long Hindu folk festival of the Telangana region dedicated to Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction. (Image: AP)

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 An Indian artist waits to perform during a procession of 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. Bonalu is a month-long Hindu folk festival of the Telangana region dedicated to Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction. (Image: AP)

An Indian artist waits to perform during a procession of 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. Bonalu is a month-long Hindu folk festival of the Telangana region dedicated to Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction. (Image: AP)

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 An Indian artist waits to perform during a procession of 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

An Indian artist waits to perform during a procession of 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

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 An Indian artist waits to perform during a procession of 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

An Indian artist waits to perform during a procession of 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

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 An Indian artist takes a selfie while waiting to perform during a procession of 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

An Indian artist takes a selfie while waiting to perform during a procession of 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

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 Hindu devotees perform a ritual offering to the Hindu goddess Kali during the 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

Hindu devotees perform a ritual offering to the Hindu goddess Kali during the 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

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 Indian artists dressed as tigers perform during a procession marking 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

Indian artists dressed as tigers perform during a procession marking 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

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 An Indian woman takes a selfie during the 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

An Indian woman takes a selfie during the 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

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 An Indian artist dressed as Hindu goddess Mahakali blesses a child during a procession marking 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

An Indian artist dressed as Hindu goddess Mahakali blesses a child during a procession marking 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

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 An Indian artist dressed as Hindu goddess Mahakali performs during a procession marking 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

An Indian artist dressed as Hindu goddess Mahakali performs during a procession marking 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

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 An Indian artist performs a fire act during a procession as part of 'Bonalu' festivities in Hyderabad. Bonalu is a month-long Hindu folk festival of the Telangana region dedicated to Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction. (Image: AP)

An Indian artist performs a fire act during a procession as part of 'Bonalu' festivities in Hyderabad. Bonalu is a month-long Hindu folk festival of the Telangana region dedicated to Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction. (Image: AP)

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 Indian artists chat as they wait to perform during a procession of 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

Indian artists chat as they wait to perform during a procession of 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

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 Indian women carry on their heads, pots filled with cooked rice decorated with turmeric and neem leaves as a ritual offering to the Hindu goddess Kali during the 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

Indian women carry on their heads, pots filled with cooked rice decorated with turmeric and neem leaves as a ritual offering to the Hindu goddess Kali during the 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

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 A devotee of the Hindu goddess Kali performs a ritual during the 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

A devotee of the Hindu goddess Kali performs a ritual during the 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

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 An Indian artist performs during a procession of 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. Bonalu is a month-long Hindu folk festival of the Telangana region dedicated to Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction. (Image: AP)

An Indian artist performs during a procession of 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. Bonalu is a month-long Hindu folk festival of the Telangana region dedicated to Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction. (Image: AP)

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 A devotee of the Hindu goddess Kali with turmeric powder smeared on body prepares to perform a ritual during the 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

A devotee of the Hindu goddess Kali with turmeric powder smeared on body prepares to perform a ritual during the 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

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 A devotee of the Hindu goddess Kali with turmeric powder smeared on body dances during the 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

A devotee of the Hindu goddess Kali with turmeric powder smeared on body dances during the 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

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 An Indian woman carries on her head, a pot filled with cooked rice decorated with turmeric and neem leaves as a ritual offering to the Hindu goddess Kali during the 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

An Indian woman carries on her head, a pot filled with cooked rice decorated with turmeric and neem leaves as a ritual offering to the Hindu goddess Kali during the 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

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 An Indian devotee drinks coconut water after breaking the shell during the 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

An Indian devotee drinks coconut water after breaking the shell during the 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

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 A devotee of the Hindu goddess Kali performs a ritual during the 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

A devotee of the Hindu goddess Kali performs a ritual during the 'Bonalu' festival in Hyderabad. (Image: AP)

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