Makara sankranti - Telangana - Festivals
Sun is the most important thing for life on earth. Without the light, sun's heat and energy, life is not possible and the earth will be iced. Makara Sankranti is one of the fewest festivals in the solar cycle while most of the festivals are celebrated during the lunar cycle. In the epic of Mahabharata, the festival of sun god is mentioned which is about 2000 years ago. It is celebrated on 14th January every year. On this auspicious day, people take bath In the sacred rivers and worship the sun, the divine force of nature. This is mainly to show their tribute to the sun and welcoming the beginning of next 6 months of summer factor. Makara Sankranti is celebrated for 4 days with different rituals followings. On this day, people gather in the house, spend their time with their family. The colourful festival is celebrated with a lot of games and fun. They had the tradition of cock-fight which was later banned by the government. They fly colourful kites to express their happiness irrespective of gender and age. The festival is hugely celebrated with different names, in Pakistan, they celebrate in the name of “Tirmoori” and in Nepal “Maghe Sankranti”. This emphasis the fact that it is not only celebrated in India but with no barrier of religion, caste or region.
The first day of Makara Sankranti is called as BOGHI. This is an interesting event to watch. During this day, people light bonfires with woods. They throw the old unwanted things from home and burn it. This is mainly followed to dispose of not only the things but also the old bad things out of us and rejoice the new beginning. The ritual of burning the old things is called as the “Rudra Gita Gyana Yagna” which means to emphasize the removal of evil and welcoming of new life. Woman and children shower in the morning with jujube flower, which is believed to protect us from evil.
The vibe mode of the real festival starts today. This day is called as the MAKARA SANKRANTI. During this day people wake up before sunrise and decorated the front of their house with Rangoli or “muggu” using rice flour. They make it beautiful according to their creativity using colours, flowers and Cow dung in the center of the Rangoli. Everyone in the house wears new clothes and the food is the most important, in the tradition of celebration. They celebrate with traditionally cooked delicious food to express their joy. They have food along with their family in banana leaf, which is not only culture but a form of expressing hospitality.
KANUMA, the third day of Makara Sankranti is specially dedicated for farmers, who feeds us all. Even though they are often not recognized, during this day people feel their gratitude towards them. In other words, this festival is for both gods, the divine god sun and the living God who feeds us with food. This is the day to rejoice our culture and teach our next generation about agriculture and its importance. Special pujas will be done for the cattle which are considered as god.
The tempo of the festive mode will not reduce even in the last day. It is called MUKKANUMA MAKARA SANKRANTI. During this day, the farmers offer their prayer to the natural elements without which they cannot cultivate. This is mainly celebrated by the people who eat non-veg. For the first 3 days people mostly don't prefer non-veg but on this day, they celebrate it by offering prayer to the village goddesses by scarifying animals. All the family members, relatives, and friends join together on this day with the open heart looking forward to the new beginning. The interesting note in this festival is that Haridas is a man who comes along the streets with a colourfully decorated cow. He sings Vishnu songs through the streets and the people in the streets offer him with food, clothes, and things they can afford. The challenge for him is that he should not speak, he responds people with the songs of Lord Vishnu.