Sunday, January 10, 2010

Celebrating Sankranti In Pictures

Makara Sankranti Subhakanshalu
Because picture says a thousand words showcasing Sankranti in pictures
Sankranti is a harvest festival celebrated in southern part of India, celebrations are more elaborate in rural parts then in the city.
Unlike other Indian festival this has no association with deities. Its a celebration of labour of love for farmers. Usually celebrated for three days first day Bhogi, second day Sankranti and third day Kanuma in honor of cattle.
India is an agricultural country and farmers and farming is its backbone, weeks of ploughing makes fields ready for sowing.
With hopes and prayers to monsoon god and rains brings life to soil.
A drive through costal andhra or konaseema this is a common site, acres of green till your eyes can gaze. Best sight while travelling in train when you pass by these feilds so green and lush.
Most of farming in India is still done manually and involves lot of sweat and hard work from the farmers.
So Pongal occurs about right this time when crop is ready to be harvested, sight of lush green sugarcane and rice fields are very common.
No matter how much India "shines" still bulluck cart carrying heavy loads is a common site and hence the day of festivity celebrating these overworked creatures.
First day Bhogi celebration start with Bhogi mantalu, bonfire lit early in the morning, its a sight to be experienced on a dawn of cold January winter.
households vie with each other in designing and rolling out muggulu of varied hues and sizes, often stretching from one end of the street to the other
Be it the city or country side Rangoli /muggulu makes homes very inviting.
Traditionally girls make gobbama and place them in the rangoli and pray.
Streets would be lined with colorful rangolis/muggulu seems like mother earth is shining in her best colors.
AYYAGARIKI DANDAM pettu, Ammagariki Dandam pettu," yells the heavily dressed, somewhat-fierce moustache-sporting `gangireddulavadu'. The woman of the house offers grain and cloth to the ox/bull - aptly dressed for the occasion - and the ox nods and bows in acknowledgement of the munificence before moving to the next house. (courtsey Hindu online)Sankaranti is also the time when `Haridasus' make their appearance. Sporting a dhoti and a Tanpura in hand.
The Haridasus goes around houses singing and dancing and collecting grains and alms adding to the colour and noise of the festival.
Sankranti special is sweet rice known as 'Pongal', usually cooked in a new earthenware pot which is placed where the puja is to be performed. Then a delicious concoction of rice, moong dal, jaggery and milk is boiled in the pot on an open fire. According to the ritual, this Pongal rice is allowed to boil and spill over. Once the rice is cooked, it is tempered with cashew nuts and raisins fried in ghee. When the Pongal dish is ready, it is offered to the sun god on a new banana leaf.
This auspicious day people wear new clothes and visit temples and offer their prayers

Best part of Sankranti is flying kites, usually a neighbourhood activity.
Seems like there is color on the earth and the skies.
another ritual is called Bhogi pallu where jujube fruits,flowers,coins and candy are put on infants head by elders for wading away bad and evil and wishing them good health.

The charm of this harvest festival is shopping which starts months before, seen here are little girls in pattu parikini or pattu langa or pavada.

Evening calls for celebration called Bommalakoluvu where dolls are stacked and displayed on decorated steps.
I truly miss Pongal I am fortunate to have experienced all these growing up. Cousins, uncles ,aunts ,grand parents and endless fun all four days not to mention non stop activity of playing cards.

Here is wishing all of you a Happy Pongal.
Hope you have enjoyed sights of Pongal, tomorrow will post taste of Pongal.

Click here for Pongals delicacies on my blog


Happy cook said...

Wow beautiful pictures a real treat in the morning today looking to those pics.

kitchen queen said...

lovely pictures very interesting and thanks for sharing it.

Cilantro said...

Wonderful pictures. It really was a treat. Happy Pongal to you & your family!

Sreelu said...

HP, KQ and Cilantro, glad you liked the pics. Happy Sankranti !!

Kanishka said...

wonderful collection !! happy pongal !!

ruchikacooks said...

Wow..Beautiful pictures, just brings back the memories of pongal in Tamilnadu for me :)

The freshly harvested paddy, celebrating with color kolams(rangolis), enjoying the margazhi winter's...good old days..thanks for sharing..

Sreelu said...

Kanishka, Thanks and wishing you the very same.

Ruchika, glad to have transported you back to you to TN, I had a blast myself doing this post.

Jayashree said...

Beautiful pics.....Happy Pongal to you.

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