Festivals of Karnataka: Yellamma Jatre

The famous Yellamma jatre of Savadatti in the Belgaum district takes place on the full moon days called sige hunnime and banada hunnime, which occur after the festival of Navaratri. The biggest jatre is on the full moon day known as the Bharata hunnime attended by lakhs of people.

The goddess Yellamma’s worship on this occasion is conducted in the manner of Sakti-puja with the Tantric observances and rituals. The person dedicating himself to Yellamma’s services, whether man or woman is called jogati. A women jogati is called jogavva and the man joogati is known as jogappa. However both dress in female attire, In Yellamma jatre there are unique practices like not dressing the image of the goddess, with the same saree a second time, the battaleseve (naked service) devotees’ dialogue with the goddess, inviting the devi to the present, offering hedige (special gifts) twice a year to Yellamma, holding of the kankana mangalotsava (tying a wrist thread) the hasige seve (resting on a couch) etc. Devotees are fulfilled by offering gifts to the goddess.