Like everytime, we came to our hometown for festival holidays and all the roads are filled with colorful rangolis wishing happy sankranti.
This took me back to my childhood days when the real celebration of sankranti was there. Sankranti is considered the biggest festival in Andhra, mainly as it is during the harvest season. Since the harvest is ready, people used to celebrate the new harvest with every member of family.
The day before sankranti is celebrated as Bhogi, where “bhogi manta” (bon fire) is made early in the morning . It indicates burning away all the bad things of the past and start afresh for future. Beautiful rangolis are made infront of the houses.
Then there is Hari-Dasu (considered as the Lord Narada himself) who comes to every house for a handful of grains and blesses each family with wealth and prosperity.
Gangireddu is another festival speciality, in which the gangireddus (bulls decorated and worshipped – considered as Nandi – the vaahanam (vehicle) of Lord Shiva himself) are brought along with the person accompanying them (considered as Lord Shiva himself) playing beautiful songs from their melam (a percussion instrument). Every household gives some grains to the person and some clothes to cover the bull and receives blessings from them. It is considered that on the eve of the festival, Lord Shiva himself comes down with his Nandi to visit each family and bless them.
Another specialty of the festival is lip-smacking sweets and savouries. All the members of the family sit together and make the tasty items. Also, this day of the year, everyone makes sure to remember their elders (who passed away) and give some offerings to them.
The colorful kites flying in the skies celebrate the spirit of Sankranti. Sankranthi is all about thanking God for the happiness, celebrating new beginnings and spending time with family!!
Wish you all a Happy Sankranthi!!
Pictures credit : Google Images