The festival of khichdi, sesame, and jaggery, kites, festivities and loads of warmth is here and you can feel the electricity buzzing all around. It’s the perfect time to enjoy the hot delicacies of the winters as you chat around a fire. So there may not be a fat, bearded man rushing down our chimney, the gifts still get piled up on the dining table and we love it. But this festival is not just about the gifts and the food.
In fact, we have a whole list of the nitty gritties that this festival offers and as you read, you will realize just how important this festival is to all of us Indians as well as brag about it to your friends and family.
1. It is the only day celebrated on the same day of the year.
While that may be interesting, what is more, interesting is the fact that it is delayed by a day every 80 years. So by, say 2050, we will celebrate the festival on the 15th of January.
2. It is also the harvest festival that is celebrated throughout the country with different names.
Call it Pongal, call it Khichdi, Lohri, whatever you like, it is all the Indian farmers coming together to celebrate their fruits of hard work.
3. It is the only festival in the Hindus celebrated according to the Solar Calendar.
Yes, Hindus use lunar calendars for every occasion, but, this is the only festival where the Sun takes precedence. Apparently, it is the equinox time and the Sun finally starts its journey towards the northern hemisphere. It is also the official beginning of spring.
4. The kite-flying is a ritual that has scientific and health reasons. * shouts Kai Po Che!*
Believe it or not, the kite-flying was planned for health reasons more than the fun reasons. While flying a kite maximum sun-exposure is perceived and this was important for getting the body rid of any kind of infections and bacteria. This day was especially considered great for sun-bathing due to the equinox.
5. The ritualistic consumption of til-gud has more benefits than you think.
Sesame seeds and jaggery are consumed for the sole reason of their health benefits but were also distributed to neighbors and even enemies as it is a day when everyone buries their hatchet. In fact, the saying goes as “til-gudghya ani god bola”. So distribute til-gud and this knowledge with your peers!!
Btw, Happy Makar Sankranti!
Image credits: Giphy, Tumblr & www.fbeaurain.com