How to Prepare Bathukamma?
To make the lovely blossoms carpeting for Bathukamma, if the blossoms especially mentioned below; like ‘Gummadi Puvvu’(Pumpkin Blossom),‘Thangedu’ and ‘Gunugu Puvvulu’(blooms) and ‘GummadiAakulu’(leaves of a Pumpkin plant)aren’t accessible; you may order Bathukamma with whichever blooms it is possible to purchase.
How to Make Bathukamma with all type of Flowers
- Depending on the size of Bathukamma you want to organize, you will have to purchase suitable quantity and types of flowers.
- Pick up an appropriate round steel or a brass plate with a small edge. The Bathukamma in the above picture is arranged on a 12-inch plate. For the first attempt, you can arrange Bathukamma on an 8-inch plate or even a smaller one.
- Lay two pieces of thread on the plate perpendicular to one another and passing over the center of the plate. These threads should be long enough, so that after arranging the entire Bathukamma in a conical pattern, these threads are drawn upwards and tied at the top to hold the Bathukamma intact.
- Over the plate and the threads, place a ‘Vistharaku’ (a plate made out of leaves).And trim the edges of the ‘Vistharaku’ to match the circular base of the metal plate.
- Spread a thin layer of Pumpkin leaves over the ‘Vistharaku’.
- Arrange one layer of ‘Thangedu Puvvulu’ (Thangedu flowers). These tiny yellow flowers with green buds and leaves and long stems are available at the time of Bathukamma festival.
- The next layer of flowers is with ‘Gunugu Puvvulu.’‘Gunugu’ flowers with long stems running almost up to the center of the plate are now arranged radially. You can arrange the row of ‘Gunugu’ flowers to any reasonable width taking care that the layer is gradually tapering to give a conical shape to Bathukamma finally. The protruding parts of the ‘Gunugu Puvvulu’ can be trimmed.
- The hollow that is forming at the center as you are radically arranging the flowers can be filled with Pumpkin leaves, or any other leaves or loose flowers.
- Subsequent top layers/rows may be arranged with any colorful flowers like yellow and orange ‘Banthi Puvvulu’(Marigold flowers),‘Chamanthi Puvvulu’(Chrysanthemum flowers)and any other colorful flowers and even with some artificially colored flowers specially made available for Bathukamma festival. If the flowers do not have stems or the stems are not strong enough, pieces of broomsticks are inserted into the flowers to act as stems and help in arranging and holding the flowers together.
- At the very top, a Pumpkin flower is placed.
- Finally, the loose ends of the two threads placed over the bottom plate and under the ‘Vistharaku’ are drawn up and tied at the top to hold the ‘Vistharaku’and the flowers arranged over it (Bathukamma) in position. Towards the end of Bathukamma celebrations, Bathukamma is given a traditional farewell (‘Saaganampadam’) by placing Bathukamma over a water body –a river or lake. Bathukamma is put over the surface of the water, and the plate on which it is arranged is cautiously taken out. Our colorful Bathukamma is now standing on the ‘Vistharaku’ can be seen graciously floating.
Watching hundreds of families dressed in their best attire and happily playing colorful Bathukammas of different sizes along the shore and then seeing many Bathukammas floating and dancing with the waves in the lake or river is a very magnificent and happy sight, beyond description.