Pola is a bull-worshipping festival celebrated by farmers mainly in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. On the day of Pola, the farmers decorate and worship their bulls. Pola falls on the day of the Pithori Amavasya (the new moon day) in the month of Shravana (usually in August).
Pola is mainly a farmer's festival, wherein farmers worship their bulls, to thank them for their support in farming. It occurs after the monsoon sowing and field work, typically in late August or early September. On the day of Pola, the bulls are first given a bath, and then decorated with ornaments and shawls. Their horns are painted, and their necks are adorned with garlands of flowers. The bulls do not work that day, and they are part of procession where farmers celebrate the crop season.
The work of decorated bulls, accompanied by the music and dancing, are carried out in the evenings. The first bullock to go out is an old bullock with a wooden frame (called makhar) tied on its horns. This bullock is made to break a rope of mango leaves stretched between two posts, and is followed by all the other cattle in the village.
The festival is found among Marathas in central and eastern Maharashtra. A similar festival is observed by Hindus in other parts of India, and is called Mattu Pongal in south and Godhan in north and west India.
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