Sankranthi / Pongal / Lohri / Bhogali Bihu – Festival of harvest

Indian Culture Description

Sankranthi, also known as Pongal, is a harvest festival celebrated in South India, particularly in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. The festival is also celebrated in other parts of India under different names, such as Lohri, Bhogali Bihu, and Makar Sankranti.

Sankranthi is usually celebrated in mid-January, marking the end of the winter solstice and the beginning of the Sun’s northward movement. The festival is a time of thanksgiving to the Sun God for a bountiful harvest and marks the beginning of the harvest season for farmers.

The word Sankranthi is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Sankramana,’ which means ‘to move.’ According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that during the time of Sankranthi, the Sun God visits his son Shani, who is the ruler of Capricorn. This visit symbolizes the end of conflicts and the beginning of new relationships and harmony.

Sankranthi celebrations usually last for four days and are marked by various traditions and customs. The first day is called ‘Bhogi,’ which is a day of cleaning and purging. People clean their homes, burn old things, and make new decorations. The second day is ‘Sankranthi,’ the main day of the festival. On this day, people offer prayers to the Sun God, wear new clothes, prepare traditional dishes, and decorate their homes with flowers and rangolis.

The third day is called ‘Kanuma,’ which is a day for farmers to celebrate and worship their livestock, which plays a significant role in their livelihood. The fourth day is ‘Mukkanuma,’ which is a day for people to celebrate and enjoy a feast with their families and friends.

The festival of Sankranthi is not just about traditional rituals and customs but also about spreading love and happiness. People exchange gifts, greet each other, and participate in cultural events such as dance and music performances. The festival also provides an opportunity for people to come together and bond over delicious food and joyful celebrations.

In conclusion, Sankranthi is a vibrant and colorful festival that celebrates the bountiful harvest and the beginning of a new season. The festival is a time for people to come together, exchange greetings, and participate in traditional rituals and customs. With its rich cultural heritage and significance, Sankranthi continues to be an essential part of the Indian tradition and an occasion to spread joy and happiness.

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