At a time when the entire state is drenched with the Sankranti fervour, the residents of Buravalli, a remote village in Gara mandal of Srikakulam district, remain oblivious to the celebrations. Not only this year, the villagers have not been celebrating Bhogi for the last one and a half centuries.

The village elders say that a person from the village died under mysterious circumstances on the Bhogi day some 150 years ago and since then the village, considering it inauspicious, made it a tradition to stay away from the celebrations.

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“I heard the story of a man dying mysteriously on the Bhogi day from my grandfather. I am 76 years old now and I have never seen the Bhogi celebrations in this village,” says village temple priest A Seetaram Murthy. Many a time in the past, the village youth made attempts to celebrate Bhogi, but the village heads obstructed them.

The tradition has put a damper on the people who have settled down in various parts of the country and come to the village for Pongal celebrations.

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“The fear lives on among the villagers. Bhogi is the most interesting ritual of the Sankranthi celebrations. Every year, we come here for the festival. We have to go by the tradition, but it is certainly a mood spoiler,” says Y Rama Rao, a B Tech student of a family from the village which is now living in Hyderabad. However, the village elders say not celebrating Bhogi has become a tradition more than a restriction.

“We respect the centuries-old tradition but we do not have any reservation against the festival. We allow our children to go to the nearby villages and enjoy the Bhogi celebrations,” says village head N Ranga Rao.

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In the last many years, a few other villages like Basivalasa in Narasannapeta mandal and Pedda Bammidi in Kotabommali mandal have also joined the tradition of not celebrating Bhogi, he adds. #KhabarLive