Happy Pongal to all my readers!!
Well, I thought since many of my readers are from North India, [I recently came to know that its not celebrated in northern states] I shall tell what I know of this amazing festival.
We celebrate it for 3 days – marking the harvest season of crops and sun entering Makara raasi
1st day – Bhogi – We celebrate by starting the day with campfire, which we call as BHOGI MANTA – I remember we used to compete on whose fire rose highest and stood alive for longest time! ….The whole year, we kids used to collect all useless from our own house/grandmom’s house and store them so that we have more chance of keeping it alive! After the bonfire, we take head bath , have pongal as breakfast after doing pooja…and then we used to get a chance to go to friends place to distrbute prasadam. In the evening, we do a small ritual with kids in the house pouring and giving BHOGI PALLU – which are a mixture of regi pallu [sour sweet berries] and mamaralu [puffed rice] etc….Umm…I love regi pallu!
2nd Day – MAKARA SANKRANTHI – The main festival – we call in Telugu as “PEDDA PANDAGA” – it marks the harvesting season of crops …..its called MAKARA SANKRANTHI because this day, sun steps into capricon…and it does signify astronomically that from this day, SUN beams out and summer begins!! We celebrate sankranthi , saying thanks and paying our respects to all that gave us food – from bullocks to SUN GOD everything that helps the farmer get his harvest! Historically, Farmers used to celebrate this festival and others used to join them in celebration! One of the unique events we observe would be GANGIREDDU – BASAVANNA – as we call in TELUGU – WELL CLAD BULLOCKS!! We cook wide variety of dishes using maximum of the pulses/grains we get . We also collect and worship – NAVADHANYALU – the nine grains that are considered sacred!!
3rd Day – KANUMA – Whenever I ask my mom about what is this festival about and why we celebrate , she always says – this is for business people – they pray to God to bless them with success in their respective businesses. On this day also, there will be a wide display of BASAVANNA and GANGIREDDUs and also HARIKATHA Nayakulu People give grains/pulses/rice to the owner of the cow/bullock in return and ask for blessings….the more u give, the more u get is the philosophy behind it!
It always fascinates me, when I look back to try and understand the true meaning and origin of these festivals…..everything was started just so rightly!! Perfect and Logical even….We celebrate everything and everyone’s happiness………haina? Who said, In India we dont see dignity of labour?? Each inch of our tradition has it…we just not respect dignity of labour , WE CELEBRATE IT EVEN!!
Sad thing is everything is so damn distorted that we are failing to see this directly……are we losing ourselves in wild goose chase??
anyways thats a whole new discussion I suppose….
well, I Love India and I Love the way I am!! I am a proud to be Indian and want to be a responsible INDIAN!!
HAPPY SANKRANTHI AND MAY YOUR LIFES BE FILLED WITH JOY N SUCCESS!!