Are you tired of winter, like I am? Then you would love to read about the festival of Makar Sankrant !
Makar Sankrant is celebrated all over India, on January 14th. It has an astrological significance. Makar means the Capricorn zodiac and Sankrant means the sun’s travel from one zodiac to the next. So on this day the sun travels into the Capricorn zodiac. And with the sun traveling to the Northern hemisphere,days get longer.
Why is this important ? Because it is a harvest festival in many parts of India. And also it marks the beginning of spring in India! That alone is a reason for me to celebrate a festival !!
It is celebrated in various cultural forms in the different states of India. And of course, like all celebrations, it involves food! In Maharashtra, sesame seeds and jaggery are used predominantly, in making sweets. According to Ayurveda, sesame seeds when combined with jaggery help protect against illnesses in the cold winter months, and also help restore energy and vigor. So it seems apt to spread this energy and vigor with friends and family. The sesame seeds and jaggery sweets are exchanged saying “tilgul ghya goad bola”. Literally translated, it means “take this sweet (Tilgul)and speak sweetly to me” Sounds funny,when it is translated like that but what it really means is ‘let us renew our friendship, forgetting any differences/bitterness we may have had in the past’.
The sesame seeds and jaggery sweets that are pictured above are the ladus, chikki squares and the spiky halwa that is distributed to friends and family. So I am spreading the cheer, energy and vigor to you, my dear friends with my ‘virtual’ tilgul.
Wishing all my dear friends a Happy Makar Sankrant!