MAKAR SANKARANTI – DETAILS, CELEBRATING PROCEDURE AND A SWEET RECIPE!
Makar Sankaranti is the Festival Of Harvest and this festival is dedicated to thank the Sun God who helps the grains and vegetables to exist for the use of all the living beings.
Krishna devotees can use this festival to chant more. This is the day suitable for meditating and chanting practices. When we chant Lord’s names during this day, it will have more effects.
The devotees of Krishna see Krishna in all the demigods and nature. He uses all the occasions to go closer to Krishna.
Taking a dip in a holy river on this day adds good blessings for the devotees. That is why, the people assemble on the banks of Ganges on this day.
Actually, Makar Sankaranti is not to be related to any religion. It is a thanks giving festival to sun god because of whom the entire world gets food.
When the RABI crop is sown, this festival is observed to celebrate the end of all the works of sowing the crops.
In some states, this festival is celebrated to mark the end of harvest.
The people are fond of tasting the sugarcane during this festval.
Most of the other festivals are celebrated based on the movement of moon, but Makar Sankaranti festival is observed when the sun enters the sphere of Capricorn zodiac.
From this day onwards, the day will be long and night will be short.
In Tamil, this month is called THAI. In Tamilnadu, this is the most enthusiastic festival of the year next to Diwali. Same in other states also.
It is observed with the different names in other parts of India.
In Tamilnadu, it is called PONGAL (or) THAI PONGAL. The people cook the special dishes called Ven Pongal (ghee pongsl) and Sarkarai Pongal (Sweet Pongal). The next day of PONGAL is observed as the MATTU PONGAL, ie, Pongal festival for the bulls and cows. The bulls and cows are bathed, offered tilaks and offered rich food.
In many palces of Tamilnadu, the JALLIKATTU is observed on the eve of this Pongal for bulls, ie, the next day of Pongal.
In Allahabad, during the MAHA MELA, this festival is observed as KALPAWAS in which the priests and devotees sit and meditate.
In Himachal Pradesh, this festival is called MAGHI.
In West Bengal, it is observed as POUSH.
In Assam, it is called as MAHA BIHU.
In Tamilnadu and Kerala, it is called as PONGAL.
In many states, the people enjoy flying the kites in the sky.
The foods prepared during this festival will be rich in Jaggery and ghee to add strength to the body. The kiths and kins assemble in the houses and enjoy the get-together.
A RECIPE FOR SANKARANTI – JAGGERY PONGAL
Ingredients- (For 3-4 servings):
Rice (Raw) – half cup.
Jaggery – ¾ cup
Cashew nuts – 7 or 8
Ghee – 4 or 5 table spoons
Nutmeg powder – a pinch
Cardamom powder – a pinch.
Raisns – a few.
Water – 3 cups.
HOW TO PREPARE?
(1) Roiast the rice and moong dal in dry condition in medium flame till the mixture becomes warm
(2) Then cook this rice + moong dal mixture with 3 cups of water in a pressure cooker and cook it till 6 whistles.
(3) Make a syrup of jaggery with about half a cup of water removing the impurities.
(4) Then, Mash the rice with a ladle like a paste. Then mix the cooked and mashed rice + dhaal mixture and the jaggery syrup well.
(5) Add nutmeg powder and Cardamon powder with the mix.
(6) Fry some 7-8 cashew nuts using liberal ghee, say, 4-5 table spoons till brown.
(7) Now, mix this ghee with cashew nuts with the Pongal mixture (rice + dhal mix).
(8) Now, the delicious Jaggery Pongal is ready that is popular in Tamilnadu and Kerala.