Madurai

‘Koorai poo’: a much sought-after flower during Pongal

A seller of koorai poo at Simmakal market on the eve of Pongal on Tuesday.

A seller of koorai poo at Simmakal market on the eve of Pongal on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: S. James

A bundle consisting of aavaaram poo, koorai poo, mango leaves and neem leaves, is tied in front of houses on the day of Pongal

On Tuesday, the city streets were flooded with vendors selling the humble koorai poo, which is an important part of Pongal festival. This flower, which is ubiquitous during the Tamil month of Thai, is considered to be auspicious.

Ideally, a bundle consisting of aavaaram poo, koorai poo, mango leaves and neem leaves, is tied in front of houses on the day of Pongal. “This is a propitious ritual that is being followed through many generations. This is part of the festival and it brings hope that the upcoming year will be prosperous for farmers,” said N. Andi, a farmer from Maanikkampatti near Melur.

Koorai poo blooms only during Thai. “The flower is usually sought after only during Pongal festival,” said A. Thennarasi, a vendor hailing from Karungalakudi.

The flowers are usually found across farmlands outside the core city, after the rainy season. “It is an uphill task for us to pluck koorai poo amid thorny bushes. It is even more tough to spot the aavaram poo, which is an important component of the bundle,” she added.

On Tuesday, a bundle was sold between ₹5 and ₹10. “The buyers do not understand the struggle that we undergo in plucking and collecting the flowers. I was disheartened when people asked four bundles for ₹10,” said A. Chellaatha, a vendor.

But, irrespective of the price, every family purchases at least one bundle as part of the ritual, said R. Geethavandhini, a resident of K. Pudur.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 9:49:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/koorai-poo-a-much-sought-after-flower-during-pongal/article30570813.ece

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