The month of September is a joyous one for the Kodavas. Why you may ask. It is for the simple reason that one of the main festivals which this clan celebrates falls during this month. A festival is always a jolly time. Sweets, new clothes, delicious food and some quality time with family, there is nothing more one can ask for, and you get to experience all this only during the festive season.
Kailpodu, better known as the rice festival, usually falls in the first week of September every year. This festival is celebrated to mark the transplantation of the rice crop. One of the major crops grown in the Coorg region happens to be rice. Hence it comes as no surprise that this festival is of great cultural significance for the Kodavas. So what does Kailpodhu mean? Well, Kail, means weapon and podh translates to festival, hence the name “Kailpodhu”.
The festival marks the day where the men in the family should begin their job as guardians for the rice crop against animals and pests. Weapons play a crucial role in the Kodava culture, and on this festival; these weapons are cleaned and decorated with flowers. This is where the festival gets half its name from. After decorating these weapons, they are placed in the hall of worship, after which each member in the family cleanses themselves through a bath. This is followed by worshipping of the weapons.
No festival is ever complete without a grand feast. After all, this is one of the reasons why most of us look forward to revelries. The Kodavas enjoy their grand feast after worshipping the weapons. The celebrations don’t just stop here. There are more rituals to this festival like the entire family assembles on an open ground where sports and games are organized. Shooting and hunting are two of the games which are largely played.