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Despite prices, Sankranti remains as sweet as ever

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RIPE HARVEST: Sugarcane is an essential ingredient of the Makara Sankranti festival being celebrated on Thursday.
RIPE HARVEST: Sugarcane is an essential ingredient of the Makara Sankranti festival being celebrated on Thursday.

Staff Reporter

Bangaloreans swarm markets on festival eve

BANGALORE: The price of jaggery and sugar may have crossed Rs. 45 a kg, but that did not deter Bangaloreans from packing the markets on Wednesday shopping for Makara Sankranti, the harvest festival.

Ganesh Kumar, a resident of Hanumanthanagar, who was buying sugarcane at Gandhi Bazaar said: “Despite the steep rise in the prices of commodities, we are celebrating Makara Sankranthi the way it should be as the festival does not come every day. Yes, the cost of living has increased manifold. But we cannot cut down on celebrations; instead we will economise on other days.”

The prices of jaggery and sugar have been hovering between Rs. 45 and Rs. 47 a kg since a fortnight. They were around Rs. 35 during Deepavali and were below Rs. 20 a year ago. But the prices of rice and toor dal have remained almost constant over a few months around Rs. 35 and Rs. 90 a kg.

Sankranti signifies the end of winter.

Ellu-bella — a mixture of white sesame seeds, groundnut, putani and jaggery — sugarcane and huggi or sweet pongal are the essential ingredients of the festival. The practice of preparing ellu - bella and sakkare achchu (moulded sugar) at home years ago has given way to readymade products available in neighbourhood stores.

Small plastic containers to put the ellu in were popular this year, unlike last year when polythene pouches dominated, said Geetanjali Mohan, a resident of N.R. Colony. They were easier to pack and distribute than polythene pouches, she added.

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