Wednesday, January 15, 2014

MAKARA SANKRANTI

Makar Sankrāntī is based on the position of the sun. The sun enters the zodiac sign of Makar (Capricorn) on the day of Makar Sankranti. All the tithis (dates) of Hindu Dharma’s festivals vary every year; however, Makar Sankranti falls mostly on 14 January (occasionally on 13th or 15th January). Every eighty years, the difference created due to the revolution of the earth around the sun is made up by pushing ahead Makar Sankranti by a day.
This is the Suggi or harvest festival for farmers of Kaveri basin of Karnataka. On this auspicious day, young females (kids and teenagers) wear new clothes to visit near and dear ones with a Sankranti offering in a plate, and exchange the same with other families. This ritual is called "Ellu Birodhu.Here the plate would normally contain "Ellu" (white sesame seeds) mixed with fried groundnuts, neatly cut dry coconut and fine cut bella (jaggery). 
neighbours visit to give ELLU BELLA
The mixture is called "Ellu-Bella" (ಎಳ್ಳು ಬೆಲ್ಲ). The plate also contains sugar candy moulds of various shapes (Sakkare Acchu, ಸಕ್ಕರೆ ಅಚ್ಚು) with a piece of sugarcane. There is a saying in Kannada "ellu bella thindu olle maathadi" which translates to 'eat the mixture of sesame seeds and jaggery and speak only good.' This festival signifies the harvest of the season, since sugarcane is predominant in these parts.
It was not a celebrations as such, but a special day with neighbours visiting and exchanging greetings.
written on Thursday, 16 January 2014

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