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Festive Food: Makar Sankranti

Festive Food: Makar Sankranti


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s promised am here with Festive Food: Makar Sankranti event details. Before that did you guys checked Christmas Feast Event Roundup? Do check it out. So, here is Festive Food next event.


Festival of Makar Sankranti

Makar Sankranti is celebrated every year on JANUARY 14th. Makar Sankranti marks the end of a long winter with the return of the Sun to the Northern Hemisphere. Makara literally means 'Capricorn' and Sankranti is the day when the sun passes from one sign of the zodiac to the next.

The Sankranti of any month is considered auspicious as it signifies a fresh start. However Makara Sankranti is celebrated in the month of Magha when the sun passes through the winter solstice, from the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn.

This festival has been celebrated for thousands of years. Initially, this was probably a festival celebrated in the cold climate, when people prayed for the warmth of the sun. In all likelihood, the Aryans celebrated it, and continued to do so after migrating to India. Today, Makara Sankranti is celebrated throughout India as a harvest festival.

What is Makar Sankranti?

Makar Sankranti marks the commencement of the sun's journey to the Northern Hemisphere and is celebrated on the 14 of January every year all over India. It is also a celebration of the harvest festival. People take dips in rivers and worship the Sun God especially in the holy Ganges river. The dip is said to purify the self and bestow "punya". Special puja is offered as a thanksgiving for good harvest. According to folklore, girls who take the holy dip get handsome husbands and boys get beautiful brides.

When do we celebrate it?

Makar Sankranti is perhaps the only Indian festival whose date always falls on the same day every year i.e. the 14th of January. Can you guess why? This is because the festival of Sankranti is based on the solar calendar unlike the rest of Indian festivals, which are based on the lunar calendar.

During six months of the year, the days are longer than the nights. During the other six months, the nights are longer than the days. Have you noticed this?
The first period is called Uttaraayana. Uttara means north. Then the sun moves north from the centre of the sky. The second period is Dakshinaayaria. Dakshina means south. The sun moves southwards now. The Uttaraayana starts roughly in the period January-February.

The day Uttaraayana starts is called Makar Sankranti. That day is very auspicious. We celebrate it as a festival all over the country. People bathe in holy waters. They worship the sun-god and give away gifts. During the six following months, happy events like marriages are celebrated.

Culture & Festivities:

This festival is celebrated differently in different parts of the country.

Uttar Pradesh:
In Uttar Pradesh, Sankrant is called ‘Khichiri’. Taking a dip in the holy rivers on this day is regarded as most auspicious. A big one-month long ‘Magha-Mela’ fair begins at Prayag (Allahabad) on this occasion. Apart from Triveni, ritual bathing also takes place at many places like Haridvar and Garh Mukteshwar in Uttar Pradesh, and Patna in Bihar.

Bengal:
In Bengal every year a very big Mela is held at Ganga Sagar where the river Ganga is believed to have dived into the nether region and vivified the ashes of the sixty thousand ancestors of King Bhagirath. This mela is attended by a large number of pilgrims from all over the country.

Tamil Nadu:
In Tamil Nadu Sankrant is known by the name of ‘Pongal’, which takes its name from the surging of rice boiled in a pot of milk, and this festival has more significance than even Diwali. It is very popular particularly amongst farmers. Rice and pulses cooked together in ghee and milk is offered to the family deity after the ritual worship. In essence in the South this Sankrant is a ‘Puja’ (worship) for the Sun God.

Andhra Pradesh:
In Andhra Pradesh, it is celebrated as a three-day harvest festival Pongal. It is a big event for the people of Andhra Pradesh. The Telugus like to call it 'Pedda Panduga' meaning big festival. The whole event lasts for four days, the first day Bhogi, the second day Sankranti, the third day Kanuma and the fourth day, Mukkanuma.

Maharashtra:
In Maharashtra on the Sankranti day people exchange multi-colored tilguds made from til (sesame seeds) and sugar and til-laddus made from til and jaggery. Til-polis are offered for lunch. While exchanging tilguls as tokens of goodwill people greet each other saying – ‘til-gul ghya, god god bola’ meaning ‘accept these tilguls and speak sweet words’. The under-lying thought in the exchange of tilguls is to forget the past ill-feelings and hostilities and resolve to speak sweetly and remain friends.

This is a special day for the women in Maharashtra when married women are invited for a get-together called ‘Haldi-Kumkum’ and given gifts of any utensil, which the woman of the house purchases on that day.

Gujarat:
In Gujarat Sankrant is observed more or less in the same manner as in Maharashtra but with a difference that in Gujarat there is a custom of giving gifts to relatives. The elders in the family give gifts to the younger members of the family. The Gujarati Pundits on this auspicious day grant scholarships to students for higher studies in astrology and philosophy. This festival thus helps the maintenance of social relationships within the family, caste and community.

Kite flying has been associated with this festival in a big way. It has become an internationally well-known event.

Punjab:
In Punjab where December and January are the coldest months of the year, huge bonfires are lit on the eve of Sankrant and which is celebrated as "LOHARI". Sweets, sugarcane and rice are thrown in the bonfires, around which friends and relatives gather together. The following day, which is Sankrant, is celebrated as MAGHI. The Punjabi's dance their famous Bhangra dance till they get exhausted. Then they sit down and eat the sumptuous food that is specially prepared for the occasion.

Kerala:
The 40 days anushthana by the devotees of Ayyappa ends on this day in Sabarimala with a big festival.

Bundelkhand:
In Bundelkhand and Madhya Pradesh this festival of Sankrant is known by the name ‘Sakarat’ and is celebrated with great pomp & merriment accompanied by lot of sweets.

Tribals of Orissa:
Many tribals in our country start their New Year from the day of Sankrant by lighting bonfires, dancing and eating their particular dishes sitting together. The Bhuya tribals of Orissa have their Maghyatra in which small home-made articles are put for sale.

Assam:
In Assam, the festival is celebrated as Bhogali Bihu.

Coastal Region:
In the coastal regions, it is a harvest festival dedicated to Indra.

Source: http://www.vmission.org/hinduism/festivals/sankranti/
http://www.cuisinecuisine.com/Festival%20of%20Makar%20Sankranti.htm

Guidelines for Celebrating Festive Food: Makar Sankranti

1. Sankranti is celebrated in all parts of India in different ways and by preparing special goodies on this occasion. Here’s a chance to revive olden days. Prepare a dish, which as a custom is prepared in your house. It can be anything sweet dish, any main dish, savoury snack……list goes on. If you wish you can share with us how Sankranti is celebrated in your region or house. One can post any hand made arts, rangoli.

2. The last date for sending your entry is 25th January 2009. We don’t want participants to prepare dishes for this event specially. Our idea is participants should send entries with the dishes, which they have actually prepared on Sankranti and share with us their experience and enjoy the festival to the fullest.

3. Bloggers please add a link back to this event announcement, you can include Logo too. There are no restrictions on the number of entries.

4. Send in your entries at Indian.festivefood@gmail.com with below mentioned information with subject FF: Makar Sankranti.

* Name:

* Dish Name:


* Blog’s Name:


* Blog URL:


* Post URL:


*Picture: Please attach the picture(s)



5. Non Bloggers no need to get upset, email your recipe along with the picture. We will post it on your name and include it in the round up.

6. Old post are accepted, provided they are republished by linking back this event announcement along with the logo.


Let me thank Arundhuti from Gourmet Affair for making this event happening, for designing the logo and for the writeup. I hope that you all will support this event too as all the previous ones.

Wish you all Happy Sankranti