Sankranti

December 3, 2007 RENU

It mostly falls on Jan 14/15. Harvest festival, to mark the reaping of a new crop. Also Sun tilts towards N hemisphere & enters zodiac ‘capricorn’, makara rasi during this time, so called Makara sankranti. From this day onwards Ravi begins to move from S towards the N with respect to the Earth signaling the oncoming of summer & hence this part of the season is also called as Uttarayana. During this period the power of Ravi will be more than what is. It affects the entire human beings & the rays that Ravi emanates will have adverse effects on human beings. Severe cold will be in Dhanurmasa & from Makarmasa gradually decreases. Summer shows its intensity starting from the Radha Saptami day.

Makar Sankramanam will come in Pushyamasa i.e., Full moon in Pushami Star. This is the reason why this month is called Pusha masa. Pusha masa is ruled by Saturn. The power of Saturn will be more. The star Pushami belongs to Satrun. Guru is Adidevata for the Star and Yama is Adidevata for Saturn. As a rslt the -ve effects will be more.

When Ravi enters in Makar Rasi, Sani owns the house, Kuja is in exalted position, Guru in deliberate position. As Kuja is responsible for fire & Guru for education line, during this period it is advised not to undertake any auspicious functions otherwise we call it as sunya masa. Natives belong to Makar rasi or persons with stars of Uttarashada, Sravan & Dhanista are advised to take more caution on health front.

Makar Sankranti is the day when the glorious Sun God of Hindus begins its ascendancy & entry into the N Hemisphere. Ravi (Sun) for Hindis stands for Pratyaksha Daivam. Ravi is the one who transcends time & also the one who rotates the proverbial Wheel of Time. The very famous Gayantri Mantra, which is chanted everyday by every faithful Hindu, is directed to Sun God to bless them with intelligence & wisdom. 

Sankranti is celebrated in most parts of India under diff names.. Sankranti(A.P,Karnataka),Pongal(Tamil Nadu),Makar Sankranti (Maharastra, Gujarat), Lohri(Punjab, Haryana). It is celebrated over 4days, the 1st day(13th Jan) is ‘Bhogi’, 2nd day(14th) is ‘Sankranti’, 3rd day(15th) is ‘Kanuma’, 4th day(16th), ‘mukkanuma’. During this entire festive season women decorate their vaakili(entrance to house or front porch) with muggu/kolam/rangoli using r.flour or chalk powder & decorated with colors & flowers. On Bhogi, early in the morning(4am), old items in the house such as clothes, broken furniture, old brooms are set on bonfire in their yards which is believed to ward off ill luck. In the evening of same day, there is held a huge display of all kinds of toys & articrafts in the house called bommalakoluvu. Also small children(below 4-5yrs) are showered with mixture of regipandlu(berries), senagalu soaked, flower petals, slices of sugarcane, small coins during bhogipalla perantam to trickle down the blessings of elders,family and friends and remove ‘dhristi ‘(protect from any evil eye). All the guests and relatives who are invited for the Perentamu are given a gift pack of assorted items (tambulam) which includes clothes, lentils, betel leaves, betel nuts, bananas, traditional sweets,flowers, turmeric and kumkuma.

On Sankranti, people wear new clothes & visit temples to celebrate the harvest. People in large numbers take dip in holy rivers such as the Ganga, Prayag & pray to Sun God. Haridasu goes from house to house singing praises of Lord Vishnu & collects alms. Girls make “Gobbemmalu”, place in center of Rangoli decorated with marigold & pumpkin flowers. They sing & dance around it. Bullocks called gangireddulu are attractively decorated & paraded from house to house & are made to perform variety of fetes(nodding in acceptance, kneeling & bowing down, even dancing) by their masters who play nadaswaram(flute) to the accompaniment of the dol(drum). Old clothes, raw rice and money are given away to the gangireddula vadu (bull’s master) in charity on the occasion of Sankranti. Street performers known as Budabukkala vallu also go from house to house asking for alms. Families celebrate with their kith & kiln & feast on ariselu, bobbatlu, jantikalu, paalakayalu, semiya payasam, paramannam, pulihora, masala vada etc. In telangana region its called festival of kites & competitions in flying kites are held. In some places, rangoli competitions for girls & women are held. People who don “ayyappa swami Mala” for 40days also reach sabari malai in kerala & see the divine Makara jyoti on this very day.

3rd is kanuma, when cattle are beautifully decorated & competitions for bullock cart racing are held. In villages, competitions are held for cock fighting. As a symbol to mark the end of Dhanur maasam, a big rangoli of a chariot is put outside every house.

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Entry Filed under: Religious stories

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