14 January 2017
Sankranti in Sanskrit means “Samyak Kranti”, meaning the most auspicious movement of the Sun’s effulgence. It is also ‘Sankramanam’, which is astronomically Sun’s apparent movement from one zodiac sign into another, i.e. into Makara Rasi (Capricon). Hence, the name ‘Makara Sankranti’. The significant point in time, commences the northern course of the Sun which is the change of course from Dakshinayana to Uttarayana and is considered as a great time every year. Sankranti is a winter harvest festival observed and celebrated across India, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. Most of the times, this auspicious time falls around 14th of January.
Sankranti is one of the most important festivals to Telugu People as well. This time phase constitutes of 4 days.
The 1st day is Bhogi. This is the day when people dispose of old and broken things by throwing away into the fire in order to concentrate on new things. This act represents the ‘transformation’ and signifies the concept of burning materialistic bindings into the fire of wisdom.
The 2nd day is Makara Sankranti (The main festival day), on this day, people wear new clothes, pray to God, and make offerings of traditional food to the ancestors who have died. The uniqueness of this day is, people make beautiful patterns and drawings with the chalk powered on the floor in front of their homes, these drawings are ornamented with flowers, colors and small hand pressed heaps of cow dung, called "gobbemma in Telugu. The families prepare a wide variety of food on that day to offer the God. On this day, animals are well remembered, especially cows which are the integral part of the Indian culture since several thousands of years. People decorate them in a special way and prey them as “Gau Mata”.
The 3rd day is Kanuma which comes on the next day of Sankranti. Kanuma is celebrated particularly by the farmers, they prey their cattle with honor. Since ancient times, Cattle is the symbol of sacredness and also an indication of the wealth and prosperity.
And the 4th day is called Mukkanuma, during this day, farmer offers praying to the nature (soil, fire and rain) for its support and help in order to carry out their harvest around the year without any difficulties.