Saturday, January 13, 2007

Kaappukkattu

“Have you bought Kaappuk kattu”? Periyamma (mother’s elder sister-like) asks mother. “Muthu has gone to buy”. Mother answers. Chithi never goes to buy anything but for kaappukkattu chithi always runs to take the job. It is the festive mood she likes I suppose. Chithi is back. All smiling. “Akka, I have bought kaappukkattu. It was difficult to get the best bunch, you know. Not many bunches were being sold. They say that it is becoming more and more difficult to find these plants every year”. Kaappukkattu is a plant with feathery little balls as flowers. It is an inflorescence type. It is a wild plant which no one cares about except on this kaappukkattu day. People go searching for it themselves. But we can buy from those who have been to the hills to collect a lot to sell today. Chithi says that it has gone expensive this year. “Get some mango leaves”. Mother asks Chithi. Ganesa chithappa has brought us some mango leaves from their farm. Chithi runs to get them. They tie them together. They are running all over the place. I don’t know what the big fuss is about, but I like the festive mood myself. Around 4pm, we tie a bunch of kaappukkattu mixed with mango leaves, inserted inside the thatch, leaving the bunch tightly held but hanging. That is it. Pongal has arrived.

info: kaappukkattu is celebrated on the previous day to thaip pongal day.
Kaappukkattu - 30th maargazhi, 13th Jan.
Thaip pongal - 1st Thai, 14th Jan,
Maattup pongal - 2nd Thai, 15th Jan.

5 comments:

The Visitor said...

We call it "Kaappu kattura naal" - meaning the day we tie kappu. It comes on the previous day to Thai onnu. We tie the "poolaippoo" (the white feathery ball like flowers) and maavilai (mango leaves) bunches in the roof.

Veettup Pongal or Suriyan Pongal comes on Thai 1 - Celebrated at home - time of day morning - Sakkarai pongal.
Then on Thai 2 we have Mattu Pongal or patti (sheep enclosure) pongal - celebrated in the farm - time of day evening (dinner) with kollu paruppu, katharikkai and poosanikkai kozhambu, kollu rasam and thayir.
Thai 3 - Poo parikkira nonbi/nombi (nombi - festival). For unmarried girls - they pluck flowers and go to the aathagarai and let the flowers in the water (if there is water). Usually on the same day there will be a fair in a nearby village and everyone (young ones) will go there by savari vandi or kattai vandi (2 different versions of bullock cart) and have a gala time there.

On all days during the festival week, there will be different dances (kummi, oyil etc) and celebration generally.

All this is long back, I dont know if the same things have survived over time.

Premalatha said...

I love Kollu rasam. Kollu is called kaanam in my area. kollu paruppu is called thokku. Kollu is related to kannada speakers in my area. They are not from karanataka. But they speak kannada at home.

//We tie the "poolaippoo" (the white feathery ball like flowers) and maavilai (mango leaves) bunches in the roof//
I didn't know the name of the poo used in kaappu. thanks for that. Whenever I referred Kaappukattu no on knew anything about it. They all talk about "bogi", which I have no clue about. It it comforting to see your comment about kaappukkattu.

I don't know about pooparikira nonbi. May be it is not there anymore.

I have travelled in Bullock carts. I know both versions. :-)

Thanks for your comment Visitor.

The Visitor said...

I know the kannada speaking people - they are called okkalia kavundar or gowder (Vokkaliga in Karnataka) in our area. They live mostly along the foothills of the western ghats, starting from Gudalur (in Cumbum valley), along Udumalpet, Mettupapalyam, Gobi, Sathyamangalam etc.

Yes, kollu (rasam) is a favorite of mine too. I dont know if you know pachai maavu, this is also made during pongal. Rice (uncooked) soaked in water and then ground into paste with jaggery. It can be eaten raw. I think they use the same to make athirasam. They also make lamps with pachai maavu.

Nice to recall old times :)

Premalatha said...

//I dont know if you know pachai maavu, this is also made during pongal. //

I know pachai maavu. it is prepared in kuththural. it is difficult to "kuththu" after adding jaggery. one has to twist and kuththu. it is a kalai/skill. :-)

//Rice (uncooked) soaked in water and then ground into paste with jaggery. It can be eaten raw. I think they use the same to make athirasam. //

We used to prepare athirasam in open space (vaasal or in somebody's house with openspace in the centre), with instant aduppu and viraku (fuel wood). All night we used to prepare. All night we used to eat both pachai maavu and fresh hot athirasam. very tasty. :-)

//They also make lamps with pachai maavu. //

See my pangunipongal post. :-)

//Nice to recall old times :) //

I know. I am going to kombai soon. It is going to be a quick visit. I am not sure how much i going to see. but excited. :-)

sudha said...

when? me too! Let me know if you want to meet :)