Bhoota Kola is a form of 'Bhuta Aradane' or worship of holy spirits , widely followed in South Canara & parts of Kerala.Bhoota or Daiva is a holy spirit and Bhoota Kola is all about paatri ( impersonator ) also called as 'Nalke' in tulu, getting possessed by holy spirit.This event mostly happens anually.It is a worship which starts after the dusk and can go on till the early morning.In short to sum it up, Bhoota Kola is system of rituals,social gathering, miraculous healing of ailments and solutions to problems.
The holy spirit is also known as 'Daiva'.Mostly this is relevant to few families which have been following this for hundreds of years.Such families might have a small temple like structure built which is known as 'Bhootada Gudi'.These families rely on the holy spirit to shower them with good fortune and protect them from the evil.
Bhoota Kola has an artistic look to it with the paatri wearing gorgeous costumes,dancing to the tunes of drums and wind instruments played with different tempo. As it get's closer to possession of the spirit tempo depth increases.A typical costume is a gown made of palm leaves and a big nimbus like structure called "ani" made of palm leaf and decorated by few ornaments.Costume might have slight variation based on spirit.After the holy spirit is in possesion it can get very dramatic such as paatri eating a live chicken or walking over the fire.
Though Bhoota Kola is not a public event,it is common for the neighbours from surrounding places to gather at the house where it happens.Few come for pure entertainment & few seeking solution to their problems.After the possession of the holy spirit the paatri answers questions fired at him by the gathered people, mostly such questions on nagging problems & difficulties faced by them.The holy spirit answers them by providing solutions to their problems.
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