painted goats

Narayan S. Raja raja at galileo.IFA.Hawaii.Edu
Thu Dec 5 15:42:01 UTC 1996

> >When I was in Maharashtra last summer, I saw cows, oxen, and goats that  
> >had
> >been painted,
> >some quite elaborately, in psychedelic colors; one person told me this 
> >was
> >for a "local festival," but I never managed to find out more.
> >
> Long time ago I was in a Tamilnadu village during the Tamil New Year 
> festival (Pongal) and noticed a great number of bulls and buffaloes 
> painted for the festival. There was some talk about a buffalo sacrifice, 
> but majority of these animals had probably nothing to do with it.

That is "maattupp pongal", the day
before or after (I forget which) the
Pongal festival (a harvest festival).  
The cattle are given special food
and decorated on that day.  Definitely
not sacrificed...

Also, another festive occasion is
during "Vijaya Dashami", when on a
particular day each person worships
the tools of her/his trade ("ayudha puja").
Truckdrivers decorate their trucks,
farmers decorate their ploughing cattle,
etc.  So you can find cattle decorated
and wearing flower garlands.

On another note...  Holi is not celebrated
in Tamil Nadu (probably not even in Karnataka).
So the pink-spotted goats had not been
splashed by mistake.



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