‘Sun’kranti days…(1)

Sankranti (the one big festival, ‘pedda panduga’, of the Telugus all over the world) days are entirely different.

It is mid-January each year.  Moist chill and thick clouds of mist descend on the village.  Except small chores, people have nothing much work to do in the fields.  By this time, the crop, depending upon the yield of the year, would have already reached the homes. The yield is celebrated as Sankranti.

It is a fixed date, 14th of January of every year.  This is based on the movement of the Sun into the house of Makara in the raasi cycle. It is therefore called Makara Sankramanam. The auspicious period of 6 months, (Uttarayana punya kaalam) commences from here.

It is invitation time.  Every household invites the Sankranti-Purusha, the harbinger of auspicious times, to enter their house.  Houses are remade.  Thresholds are repainted yellow. Designs of twigs, leaves, stripes and dots in red and green colors are laid afresh.  New clothes are bought for the entire family.  It is clearly festive time and one can witness festivity at every nook and corner of the village.

Being the first in the new calendar, it is considered a big one.  It arrives in really big terms. It is vacation time and therefore travels are performed.

People arrive in big numbers.  Take a break and depart.

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