‘Bhogi mantalu’ kindle Sankranti fervour

In festive mood: Residents gathering around Bhogi bonfire in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday.  

The denizens celebrated the first day of the four-day Sankranti festival by celebrating Bhogi with enthusiasm and religious fervour.

Young and old alike were seen lighting bonfire (Bhogi monatalu) from as early as 4 a.m., braving the chilly weather. Almost every household lit a bonfire. People living in apartments and gated communities lit community bonfires. The city skylines wore a foggy look till late in the day.

Family get-together

“We begin the Sankranti festival by burning the old things in bonfire, symbolising the hope for starting afresh. As the tradition goes, disposal of old things is linked to getting rid of vices and it is seen as a sacrifice ritual made to Lord Rudra,” said Saraswati Devi, a senior citizen.

She celebrated Bhogi with her children and grandchildren who came from the U.S.A.

Though Pongal is known to be a harvest festival, it is considered as the time for homecoming as people make it a point to go to their native places and celebrate the festival with their family members and relatives. Bhogi plays a key role in Sankranti celebrations as it heralds the beginning of the four-day festival.

For children, Bhogi is the most sought after ritual as they spend the previous day collecting firewood and old things for the bonfire.

“Every year, I, along with my friends, visit the nearby forest area at Madhavadhara to collect the fallen twigs, branches and barks. It is all fun as it turns out to be a sort of a picnic in the woods,” said 14-year-old Rajesh from Madhavadhara.

“The smelling of burning wood and crackling of twigs in the fire and children playing around it is the sight that I love to see. Every year, I come home from the U.S.A. to take part in the festival,” said Radhika, a software professional.

Apart from the morning bonfire, rangolis adorned the doorsteps of almost every household.

“Sankranti festival means making colourful rangolis, relishing traditional cuisines, wearing new clothes and most importantly spending time with the family members and friends and visiting the ancestral home,” said Srinivasa Rao, a retired employee of Vizag Steel Plant.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 5:32:02 PM |

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