Sheege Hunnime festival is fondly remembered by my mother. The excerpt follows…
My dad seemed to be in a very celebrative mood. He ordered the servants to get the bullock cart ready and also instructed all the women in the family to get ready to go to the hola / fields.
Just after rains Sharad Ruthu had come in. The sky had wiped away the black clouds and was showing off its blue splendor. The people were tired of rains and they were happy to see the sun shining and the streams flowing. In the night it was the moon who was the king. Like spilled milk the moonlight had spilled in the front yard. We children played a lot in the moonlight.
During this season, the crops would be standing tall with grains as though mother earth was showing her appreciation towards the hard work of farmers. The land lords were beaming at the sight of the crops.
The Hunnime of Ashwina masa (October – November) after Navrathri / Dasara is known as Shige Hunnime and is celebrated in North Karnataka. This year (2018) it is on 24th October. On this day the land lords worship mother earth and also do naivedya / offer food to her.
Patience is always compared with mother earth. She forgives our mistakes and treats her children with rasadouthana/gifts and protects us. Sheege Hunnime is the time when we give back a little of what we receive from the Mother Earth. In Bayalu Seeme / North Karnataka it is known as “Charaga Challuvudu”.
On this day my dad used to be very enthusiastic, one bullock cart would be filled with delicious food like Karigadabu, Ambode, Kalasanna etc., and two men would escort this cart to the fields. The women of the house would travel in the savari cart. A savari cart is a specially prepared bullock cart with a hood and lined with bed and bolsters.
The food bullock cart would look like Bakasurana Gadi! (the cart that fed the demon Bakasura). My father would walk with the rest of his special guests to the fields.
The priest would chant the mantras and perform the rituals and do naivedya of the food with devotion. All the people would sit in the fields and finish off the food with fun and laughter.