Sunday, January 6, 2013

Makara Sankranti- Festival of Sun

Makara Sankranti:
Sankranti is a Hindu festival which falls in the Pushya masam. Sankranti means 'sacred changes’. The festival occurs on when the sun moves from Sagittarius to Capricorn (one house of the Zodiac to another). Capricorn is a sign of peace and contentment.

Cultural Importance:
As per the puranas, on this day the Sun God Surya meets his son Shani (Saturn -Lord of Capricorn) as they do not share a very good relationship, so this is the day for a special father-son relationship. It is the son who has the responsibility to carry forward his father’s dream and the continuity of the family.

It is believed on this day Lord Vishnu ended the terror of the Asuras by finishing them off and burying their heads under the Mandara Parvata (Mountain). So this occasion also represents the end of negativeness and beginning of an era of righteous living.

From Makara Sankranti starts the Gods (devatas) day will start, while southward movement of the sun (dakshinayana) is said to be the ‘night’ of devatas, most of the auspicious things are done during this time.  Uttarayana is also called as Devayana, and the dakshinayana' is called Pitrayana.

As per Mahabharata, Bhishma told his purpose for leaving the sufferings on this day. He had a boon for death from his father so he kept lying on the bed of arrows till makara sankranti day.The person, who dies during the period of Uttarayana becomes free from rebirth.

As per puranas the month Dhanurmasam is early morning hours of Gods. So Hindus wake up early in this month and make variety designs with rice flour and colors before the entrance of their houses to welcome the gods in the morning.

How to celebrate sankranti?
In Andhra Pradesh, Sankranti is called 'Pedda Panduga' which is the big festival. The Festival is of three days, the first day Bhogi, the second day Sankranti, the third day Kanuma.

On this day goddess Godadevi is married Lord Vishnu their married life is called as Bhogi. On this day people wake up in the early morning before sunrise and collect all the waste material and fire them. This is called “Bhogi Mantalu” as this droves the poverty. Bhogi is celebrated to keep warm during winter. On this fire they will boil water and the whole family keeps oil to body and take bath. Hindus believes that if they follow this formality they don’t bother with poverty.

There is a special ritual for children.They pour Bhogi Pallu (gooseberries) on children’s head to get them good health and prosperity and to avoid “Evil Eye”(Nara drushti).

Sugarcane, beaten rice, sweets made of sesame seeds and jaggery is offered to the Bhogi fire the same are consumed. Also dry fruits and sugarcane are eaten.

People bathe in the holy water and worship the god Sun. On this Ladies decorate the houses with toranam, flowers and put Rangoli (Muggulu) with rice flour and colors at the entrance of the house. In the middle of Rangoli they Pour Navadhanyalu and put gobbillu (balls of cow dung decorated with turmeric, kumkum and flowers) pray to them and sing, dance around them.

Haridasu who looks like Naradamuni puts one big bowl like pumpkin shape, on his head. Haridasu takes the begging from the people and says ‘Krishna arpanam’, that means everything in the world belongs to Lord.

A person (Gangireddudasu) comes with Gangireddu (Ox decorated with beautiful clothes and ringing bells) which is a symbol of Lord Shiva’s Vehicle Nandi. He begs and bless each family.Jangamayyalu are symbols of Lord Shiva. They walk one home to another and beg food grains. They bless and give vibudhi powder to all.

On this day the Puja is performed with different kind of sweets and are offered to god as naivedyam. Arisalu (made of rice and jaggery) is the traditional sweet item that is made for this sankranti festival. Sesame seeds, beaten rice, yogurt, jiggery,dal  and atleast curry prepared of five vegetables need to be consumed. Also Sesame has to be donated.

In the evening people enjoy with kites fly to give a warm welcome for the sun in the Northern hemisphere. Goddess Saraswati is worshipped from makara sankrathi as it marks the beginning of Vasant Navaratri. In some parts of India people offer thousands of their colorful oblations to the Sun in the form of beautiful kites.Ladies and children will celebrate Bommala Koluvu by placing all types of toys in the house at one place.

Sankranti is a harvest festival. The farmers cultivate the land depends on his cattle and also birds. On these days farmers are very happy because this is season of the cultivate food grains coming home. So it’s the duty of farmer that he makes his friends also happy. So on the day of Kanuma farmers worships the cows and buffaloes and thanks for ploughing the fields.

On this day some people invite their friends and relative and arrange feasts. In some places mostly in village’s bullock cart races and cock fighting’s held. Garelu (Vada) prepared with urad dal are taken on this day.

Interesting Facts:
‘Makar’ = crocodile. Sankranti=‘change.’ The ‘Makara’ represents the reality world and ‘Sankranti’ is a change to get away seize of the crocodile or the reality world.

Scientific Reasons:
Makara Sankranti is basically a celebration of a cosmic event spanned with human life.Sun enters from one zodiac to another. The sun is for knowledge, spiritual light and wisdom. Makara Sakranti tells us we should turn away from the darkness we live, and let the light within us joyfully shine brighter. The Sun removes darkness and guides for the light of knowledge. People should learn to develop purity, wisdom and knowledge.

On the Makara Sankranti day the six month Uttarayana begins.The roughness of winter decreases so the days will be longer and warmer. Uttarayana is the daytime for the Gods so auspicious activities take place during this period. The festival is the beginning of the harvest season for the farmers of India.

Make sweets like Sweet Pongal,Sesame burfee,Ariselu and Sesame Laddu. To keep Calcium & Iron levels in body as prescribed by our ancestors. Eating Sesame shall provide our body heat, strength and muscularity and high on nutritional values. Sesame seeds contains 3 times more calcium than milk. Sesame contains more iron, copper, magnesium , phosphorus, zinc, protein, fiber and  vitamin like B1,E. Sesamolin from sesame has the power to reduces high blood pressure and helps liver against damage.

Jaggery is a best source of iron when compared to spinach. It is healthier when compared with sugar as it contains more vitamins and minerals (iron, potassium, magnesium and phosphorous). cough, migraine, cold, asthma, fatigue and indigestion can be cured from jaggery.

Gobbillu made of cow dung creates a worm free environment in the house. By bhogi Fire we are free from harmful insects.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for posting the good and nice information its nice
makar sankranti 2017