It is time to harvest your dreams as Makara Sankranti is round the corner. The harvest festival, which marks transition of the Sun into Capricorn on its celestial path, is celebrated in the month of Magha. There are many stories associated with the festival. It is said that on this day Sun visits the house of his son Shani, who is believed to be ruler of Makara Rashi. The father and son duo are believed to be at loggerheads with each other always. However, on Makara Sankranti day, with all the differences, the father magnanimously meets his son and in fact stays with him for a month. This day symbolizes the special relationship that exists between a father and a son. It is said that the son has the responsibility of carry forward the father's dream and continuity in the family. Another story revolves around Bhisma. He was blessed with the boon “ichcha mrithyu”, which was granted by his father. And, during Mahabharata yuddha, he decides to end his life on this day, while lying on the bed of arrows for several days. It is believed that a person, who dies during the period of Uttarayana, becomes free from transmigration.
The eve of Makara Sankranti is known as Bhogi and on this day, it considered good to discard old and derelict things and make a new beginning, which signifies change or transformation. It is time satiate the needs of your sweet tooth. Generous quantities of sweets are prepared and served on this day. It is a time for families to congregate. Brothers pay special tribute to their married sisters by giving gifts as affirmation of their filial love. Landlords give gifts of food, clothes and money to their work force. On Makara Sankranti, cows are fed by young girls to signing sharing. Since the festival is celebrated in mid winter, food prepared for this festival is such that it keeps the body warm and gives high energy. In Karnataka, “yellu-bella”, a mixture of sesame seeds, jaggery, coconut and groundnuts are distributed to relatives and friends.
There is a saying in Kannada “Yellu bella thinni, olleda maathadi”in vogue and it means “eat the mixture of sesame seeds and jaggery and speak only well.” Cattle are decorated in various hues and are made to jump over a bon-fire.
SUDHINDR A B