JEYPORE: Pongal, which used to be an elaborate three-day celebration by the Telugu community of Koraput, has undergone a sea change in the last decade.
Celebration of the harvest festival begins on Wednesday and on the eve of Pongal, members of the community lit the traditional bonfire to mark the ‘Bhogi’. The ritual has been affected in several localities this year due to the shortage of firewood.
Till a few years back, 'Bhogi' was celebrated in every nook and cranny of the town and people of other communities also participated enthusiastically. Cultural programmes and community feasts were being organised near the bonfire.
However, the celebrations are today limited to areas where Telugus reside and bonfire was lit only at a few places due to shortage of firewood, said Venkateswar, a Telugu resident. Revellers choose to remain indoors as there is no wood to burn during ‘Bhogi’ ritual, he added.