We, Rainbow Kids Learning are sharing some Interesting Facts about Makara Sankranti We celebrate this festival in Mid – January and we have compiled various events associated with this festival in a very simplified manner so that the Present Generation is aware of Custom and Traditions.
What is Makara Sankranti? When is it celebrated?
Makara Sankranti is the harvest festival celebrated in various parts of India.
We celebrate Sankranti on 14th January. This is the period When the sun moves from Tropic of Cancer to Tropic of Capricorn.
How is it Celebrated?
It is a four day festival – Bhogi, Sankranti, Kanuma and Maha Kanuma.
It is celebrated with great fanfare. This is the festival of the Sun God. We call it with different names in different parts of the country. The rituals also differ according to the region.
We call it as Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Kicheri in Uttar Pradesh and Lohri in Punjab. Uttarayan, Maghi are also the names of this festival.
Haridasu and Gangireddi , Kite flying etc.. focus on the rich vibrant and colorful traditions of India.
Who is Haridasu??
Haridasu and Gangireddu are two important aspects of Sankranti in Andhra Pradesh. Early in the morning Haridasu along with decorated Bull Gangireddu visits each and every house in the villages and town singing songs praising Lord Vishnu and playing Tambura – a musical instrument. He is dressed in bright vibrant saffron attire with colorful garlands, balancing a copper vessel known as Akshaya Patram on his head. He carries chidatalu known as cymbals in one hand, a tambura in the other, with anklets on their feet. Colorful sarees and flowers adorn Gangireddu.
Haridasu usually appears throughout the month preceding Sankranti, the Dhanur Masam. It is also custom that he should not talk to anyone and only sings songs of Lord Vishnu when he visits the houses. He never stops to ask for alms or charity. He does not look back, even if there is any kind of danger behind. In the rural areas, people respectfully wash his feet and seek his blessings. He bends down to allow access to the Akshaya Patra on his head in which people put rice or money.
Why do we fly kites during Makara Sankranti??
During this time the Sun starts moving Northwards. The Sunrays have a medicinal effect on the bodies. While flying Kites, the sun rays fall on the people and they unknowingly receive the benefits and they are cleansed of infections, cold, cough and dry skin. Children and Adult bond together to fly kites, enjoy and celebrate.
What is the importance of Sugarcane during Makara Sankranti??
The first crop the farmer harvests is Sugarcane. We get Jaggery from sugarcane juice and prepare sweets out of it. People offer these sweets as Prasadam to God.
We then distribute these sweets and sugar cane among relatives and friends. The special sweet of this festival is Til Gud Ladoo. People greet each other with a message, that after eating sweets one should talk sweet words.
What is the significance of Pots during Makara Sankranti??
The beginning of Sankranti, that is on the day of Bhogi people destroy their old clothes and material. They use new pots to boil milk and jaggery. This marks the end of old and emergence of new.
Which crops are harvested in Makara Sankranti??
During January farmer harvest crops like Jowar, Rice, Wheat etc. This is a crucial time for farmers as the winter ends and summers begin. It is a beginning of new harvest season. After harvesting farmers are free and festivals are a way of mingling with friends and relatives.
Why do we offer Fruits during Festivals?
Prasadam consists of fruits. We distribute these fruits among family and friends. Some common fruits used during this time are Bananas and sugarcane. Til Gud Ladoo is special sweet prepared during Sankranti.