Festivals are celebrations to mark meaningful events in our life or society. Nowadays we celebrate events of personal importance (anniversaries, birthdays, wedding etc) or of socio-political importance. In the earlier farming days people worshipped Mother Earth and respectfully.
Tulu festival of Keddasa (pronounced KeDDasa or keDDaso) is a unique ancient celebration in honour of the annual initiation of the fertility season (agriculture) of the Mother Earth. Our ancestors firmly believed that Earth is a woman, a mother. They conceived that Mother Earth would have an annual transitional period comparable to the menstrual period in women, after which she shall be ready to bear fruits and crops for the benefit of people. The three day period falls on the last three days of the Tulu month known as ‘Puyintel’ or ‘Ponni ‘(equivalent of ‘Makara’ month), from 27th of Puyintel upto Kumbha Sankramana. A mixture of nine grains (navadhanya, which invariably include horse gram and rice) are spiced and fried and distributed as ‘kuDu-ari’( horsegram+rice) among well wishers.
The three day festival celebrates the transition of seasons and initiation of cropping season. During the three days no harms, destructions can be done to Earth: digging, trenching, cutting trees etc are banned.
Origin and meaning of the word keDDasa is not readily available. The word ‘keDu’ means a raised hard boil or hard growth on the skin; ‘keDi’ means jewel or precious stone. Following these words we can infer that ‘keDD+asa’ stands for the marker festival.
Do you have any better explanation for the word? Please chip in!
Books for Reference
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- Male kudiyaru. Dr B. A.Viveka Rai and D.Yadupathi Gowda, Mangalore University,1996.
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- Mugeraru:Jananga Janapada Adhyayana. By Dr Abhaya Kumar Kaukradi.Kannada & Culture Directorate,Bangalore & Karnataka Tulu Academy, Mangalore,1997.
- Puttubalakeya Pad-danagalu. Ed: Dr B.A.Viveka Rai,Yadupati Gowda and Rajashri, Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheswara Tulu Peeta. Mangalore University.2004
- Se'erige. Ed:Dr K.Chinnapa Gowda.Madipu Prakashana,Mangalagangotri,2000.
- Studies in Tuluva History and Culture.by Dr P Gururaja Bhat (1975).Milagres College,Kallinapur,Udupi.
- Taulava Sanskriti by Dr.B.A.Viveka Rai, Sahyadri Prakashana,Mysore 1977
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- TuLu NighanTu. (Editor in Chief: Dr U.P.Upadhyaya, Govinda Pai Research Centre,Udupi. Six volumes. 1988 to 1997
- Tulu Patero-A Philology & Grammar of Tulu Language by Budhananda Shivalli.2004.Mandira Prakashana Mangalore. p.317. (The book is in Tulu Language using Kannada script)
- TuLunadina ShasanagaLa Sanskritika Adhyayana. By Shaila T. Verma (2002) Jnanodaya Prakashana,Bangalore, p.304.(Kannada)
- Tuluvala Baliyendre. Compiled by N.A.Sheenappa Hegde,Polali,Sri Devi Prakashana,Parkala,1929/1999
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