Makar Sankranti is an important festival of the Hindus. Read about the significance of Makar Sankranti, the traditions and rituals of this festival. Find out why it is celebrated? the traditional recipes, the crafts to keep kids involved and informed in a fun way.
Sankranti Customs, Crafts & Recipe Ideas
What is Sankranti?
For those who are new to this festival, It’s a harvest festival for Hindus and is quite popular in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka , Andhra & Tamilnadu mid January. This is the day when the Sun trasitions from winter to Spring. In Northern India too, Lohri is celebrated with great Pomp. The day before Sankranti is called Bhogi and this is when people discard old stuff and habits and concentrate on new things causing change or transformation. Now isn’t that a fab way to start the year?
Sankranti falls on 15th January, 2016.
Why is it called Makar Sankranti?
On Makar Sankranti, the sun enters the sun-sign of Capricorn or Makara (the Indian rashi). Therefore the ‘Makar’ in the name. The word ‘Sankranti’ signifies the movement of the sun from one zodiac sign to another. Thus, the name of the festival literally means the movement of the sun into Capricorn.
At dawn, people light a bonfire called Bhogi. In my childhood, we would watch as street corners turned into mini bonfires.
How to celebrate Bor Nahan
At home, Newly married couples & little kids under age 5 are dressed in a new black dress and decorated with sugar ornaments.. Here is a pic of lil p’s Sankranti attire..
A black & orange lehenga with sugar ball ornaments – They are actually edible! .. Bracelets, armbands , necklace, mukut, and crowns. They typically dress up as Lord Krishna
We had a bornahan function for Lil P and all her friends when she was younger .. I had ordered the sugar ornaments from Pune .. about 10 sets. and we showered the little ones with “ber” , sugar candies , murmure (puffed rice) and sugar cane pieces.. This is supposed to bring good luck & health to them .. the black is to ward off all evil. It was a fun event at home.
Now sankranti also meant going from house to house and sharing Til (sesame seed) laddos , and tilgul.. a combination of sugar, jaggery & til .. and saying Til Gul ghya god god bola .. and yellu bella togondu yellu bella haage iru.. roughly translated it meant,-Take this sweet offering of mine and hope you stay as sweet as ever.. Sankranti marked the transition from cold winters to happy spring.. so eating til increased the body heat..
Like every festive celebration, it is a time when mouth-watering traditional delicacies are lined up. Each state has its own special dishes, but what is common all over the country is Sesame or til – this aromatic seed is used to prepare a number of delicacies, mostly sweets.
Til laddoos: Til or sesame is the harvest of the season and is eaten a lot during this time. Til laddoos are a traditional sweet delicacy that almost every Indian household prepares. The famous Maharashtrian saying – “til gud ghya, aani godh godh bola” – translates as – eat sesame-jaggery ladoos and speak sweet words. Get the recipe here.
Paatishaapta: Bengalis make Paatishaapta, a sweet crepe or pancake that’s stuffed with a mix of khoya, coconut and date palm jaggery. Get the recipe here.
Rewari: Rewari is a hard candy like sweet made with sesame that’s coated with sugar. It is a popular dish in Punjab eaten during the time of Makar Sankranti. Find the recipe here.
Sankranti Special Spread By Sailu’s kitchen..
Sankranti Kite Festival
Sankranti is the sign for farmers that the sun is back and that harvest season is approaching. This day is considered to be one of the most important harvest days in India. Many cities in Gujarat, organise kite competitions. All those pretty colours & designs.. each flying higher than the other.. It was an amazing sight and a memory that still brings back fond memories.
Books about Kites for Makar Sankranti
In the days leading up to the festival, spend some time getting into the spirit with these lovely books about kites. Most of them are heart warming tales based on simple people and teach some life lessons while being entertaining at the same time!
Sankranti Kite Crafts
Here are some awesome Kite crafts For you to try out with your kids..
Here are some more crafts to make with your kids
Sankranti Decoration at house done by a very talented person Chithra’s Creativity. It depicts a village house, its back yard trees, the new pot in which pongal is cooked, also the lady of the house.
Sankranti Rangoli / Muggulu
Indian rangoli is an unique art work which is practised throughout India. All houses are adorned with these beautiful rangoli designs, rangoli kolams during Pongal & Sankranti. Here are a few designs to try
I love this simple kite design put by Arthi outside her home – Isn’t that a cute project for you to make with your kids?
Or try a Natural rangoli using leaves & flower petals. Looks fabulous & then can be used for compost. Zero waste.
We have many tutorials on how to put a rangoli under 2 minutes. Check out our post on Sankranti Rangoli Ideas
Here’s a simple Sankranti special video on how to put rangoli
How are you celebrating sankranti.. what special customs do you follow? What food did you make special for Sankranti.. Leave your comments / post links 🙂