Saturday, January 25, 2014

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Happy Bhogi,Makara Sankranthi & Kanuma Festival to All!!

Hi Friends,Hope you all had a wonderful darshan and blessings on "Mukkoti Ekadasi "day.Soon after this ,I am very happy to celebrate the Big Festival i.e.Bhogi,Makara Sankranti & Kanuma.

Before celebrating this Festival one month preceeding Dhanurmasam starts and from that day onwards all the household ladies and young girls start decorating the households and entrance of the door with a decorative Muggulu,Rangoli,Kolam in the early hours or at night time also .This is known as "Nelapattatam".

I like to draw free-hand designs than dot muggulu only up to 15 straight dots I can, as it time-taking for me to put ,but I can join the design if any one put dots.I remember the words of my mother she used to say "If some one see's my Muggu ,they will be confused in counting of dots" the reason behind is I used to design any Muggu with free-hand and finally as a touch-up I put some dots!!

Even now also I am very lazy to draw a Muggu with dots ,so I am continuing the free-hand designs for any Festival or Occassion.

This is my Flash-back memories for the Muggu.

So friends coming to the Festival January 13,14,15 dates are for the Festival according to my Place 
/Location calendar.

So Friends Here is about the Festival


This festival is celebrated in Andhra for 4 days mainly
1. Bhogi
2. Sankranthi
3. Kanuma
4. Mukkanuma

Sankranti is a National festival in India.
North India: Festival known as Makar Sankranti
Andhra Pradesh:Festival known as Sankranthi
Tamil Nadu:Festival known as Pongal
 Punjab:Festival known as Lohri & Maghi

Sankranthi day marks the arrival in the farmer’s houses of the grains that are the fruit of their labors. Sankranthi is a holy festival for a worldy achievement.  It is also a cherished day of rest in the cool atmosphere.  Some of colourful and joyful events of this festival are keeping Muggulu (Rangoli), Gangiredhulu(sacred bull), Hari dasu coming home with singing..

All the above said events starts even 10 to 15 days before the festival arrives…indicating us that the festival is coming…


 Rangoli area in front of the house is neatly cleaned and wetted with cow dung mixed water.  When the land become half dry, women and young ladies start decorating the area with rangoli called as MUGGULU.  It is kept with white colour powder which is taken from stone or with rice flour. 

 Young girls will be very enthusiastic to keep this muggulu..they will practice all large and typical designs to decorate in front of their homes..since every house front decorated with this rangoli..there will a king of race between this muggulu..girls will be energetic and active to keep a larger , typical and also a wonderful rangoli than their neighbours. 

Some even decorate these muggulu with colours and flowers.. as it is the season for marigold flowers..girls will decorate their muggulu with the petals of the marigold flowers.  People also make garland with this marigold  flowers and decorate it to the main door of their houses. 


 The main attraction of this muggulu in SANKRANTHI time is GOBBEMMALU(cow dung balls).  This Gobbemmalu are cow dung balls which are kept on Muggu(Rangoli), which is designed to invite prosperity and bliss into the house. 

 Gobbemmalu are decorated with pasupu(turmeric powder), Kumkuma (red vermion powder) and with several grain types.  They also decorated with flowers(garlands).

Young girls decorate themselves with ornaments and new dress..preferably (langa voni) half saree(pattu langa) full skirt..they will gather and dance around these gobbemmalu along with singing.  

GANGIREDDU(holy bull):

Gangireddu is a sacred bull, which is decorated with beautiful clothes and ringing bells.  The person who takes round the decorated bull is called Gangireddudasu.  He wears a special dress on this occasion.  The very sight of gangireddudasu fascinates children.  They are the people of a caste who are dedicated to receive charities from other people.

Gangireddudasu makes gangireddu(bull) to dance.  The scene clearly depicts bull’s obedience to his master.  Gangireddudasu sings songs and gangireddu dances according to his master’s song.


‘Haridasulu’ in their colourful attire were a feast for the eyes during Pongal.  This is another tradition, which has almost disappeared from cities and urban areas.  Thankfully, they are still patronized and honoured in the rural areas.  The Haridasulu carry a copper vessel, made in the form of a pumpkin, on their head.  They carry ‘chidathalu’(cymbals) in one hand and a tambura in the other and go from house to house singing,”Harilo Ranga Hari”, and the glory of Lord Mahavishnu. 

Many a traditional folk form add glory to the festive scenario. Haridasulu (Madhwas) are seen singing eulogies of the Almighty and seeking arms from the people in the early hours of the days. Gangireddu Ata, is another festival where trained oxen dance to the tunes of the Nagaswaram played by their master is a great attraction - probably not too many in Auckland. Kommudasarulu & PittalaDora are other folklore that brighten the days with their healthy humour - 

The Haridasulu tie anklets to their feet and apply ‘Namas’(markings with sandalwood paste) on their forehead.  They have to wear only saffron clothes during the auspicious month(Dhanurmasam).  It is believed that the Haridasulu are a replica of sage Narada, a devotee of Mahavishnu, who comes to bless his devotees.  The people wash his feet, pay their obeisance and seek his blessings.  The Haridasulu take rice from the vessel and sprinkle them on devotees to bless them.  It is believed that the Haridasulu should never be turned away without giving any alms.  They accept rice,money, vegetables and other offerings.


kites are seen soaring high in the sky on the day of Makara Sankranti. This is symbolic of the existence of mankind, with the kites depicting the human lives and the manza depicting the eternal bond between us and the divine self. People however seem to correlate the soaring kites with their high spirits on the eve of Makara sankranti. Competitions held with kites of all sizes and shapes and the sharp edged manza draw people on the terraces and in open grounds to witness the riot of colours .

1st day BOGHI: 

BOGHI day is the first day of the sankranthi festival.  A ritual observed today is ‘BHOGHI MANTALU’(BON FIRE) when useless household things and old clothes are thrown into a fire made of wood and cow dung cakes.  Youngsters sing and dance around the bonfire.

The significance of the bonfire , in which is burnt the agricultural wastes and firewood is to keep warm during the last lap of winter.  Whole family keep oil to body and take bath.  Then pray GOD by doing puja and all..later guys will be busy in flying kites and girls in dancing round the gobbemmalu. There is a special making even in the food.  Sunnundalu(urad dhal laddu) is the food item taken on bhogi day after praying god. 
At the lunch time instead of normal rice PULAGAM / ATHESARA is made.  It is taken with the combination of PACHIPULUSU(raw rasam).

“Bhogi Pandlu” is a special ritual to be performed on the evening of Bhogi day.  On Bhogi, the children are dressed up with new dresses.  They are given Aarti and Bhogi Pandlu(Bhogi Pallu – a special mixture of gooseberries, food material, sugarcane and rice) are showered on the heads of children to protect them from the evil forces. 

Sweets in generous quantities are prepared and distributed. It is a time for families to congregate. Brothers pay special tribute to their married sisters by giving gifts as affirmation of their filial love.
 Landlords give gifts of food, clothes and money to their workforce.

2nd day SANKRANTHI: PEDDA PANDUGA (main festival)

Makara Sankranti , also called "Pedda Panduga" , which literally means "the big festival", when everyone wears new clothes, prays to God, and make offerings of traditional food to ancestors who have died. 

Travel is considered to be inappropriate, as these days are dedicated for re-union of the families. Sankranti in this sense demonstrates their strong cultural values as well as a time for change and transformation. And finally, gurus seek out their devotees to bestow blessings on them.

Mythology and cultural significance

1. According to the Puranas, on this day Suryudu (Sun) visits the house of his son Shani(Saturn), who is the lord of the Makar rashi(Zodiac Capricorn). Though the father and son duo did not get along well, the Surya made it a point to meet his son on this day. He, in fact, comes to his son’s house, for a month. This day thus symbolizes the importance of the special relationship between father and son. 

2. From Makar Sankranti starts the ‘day’ of devatas (Gods), while dakshinayana (southward movement of the sun) is said to be the ‘night’ of devatas, so most of the auspicious things are done during this time. Uttarayana is also called as Devayana, and the dakshinayana' is called Pitrayana.

3. It was on this day when Lord Vishnu ended the ever increasing terror of the Asuras (Demons) by finishing them off and burying their heads under the Mandara Parvata. So this occasion also represents the end of 'negativities' and beginning of an era of righteous living. 

4. Maharaja Bhagiratha, performed great penance to bring Ganga down to the earth for the redemption of 60,000 sons of Maharaj Sagar, who were burnt to ashes at the Kapil Muni Ashram, near the present day Ganga Sagar. It was on this day that Bhagirath finally did tarpan with the Ganges water for his unfortunate ancestors and thereby liberated them from the curse. 

After visiting the Pataala(underworld) for the redemption of the curse of Bhagirath’s ancestors the Ganges finally merged into the sea. A very big Ganga Sagar Mela is organized every year on this day at the confluence of River Ganges and the Bay of Bengal. Thousands of Hindus take a dip in the water and perform tarpan for their ancestors. 

5. Another well-known reference of this day came when the great grand-sire of Mahabharata fame, Bhishma, declared his intent to leave his mortal coil on this day. He had the boon of Ichha-Mrityu(death at his will) from his father, so he kept lying on the bed of arrows till this day and then left his mortal coil on Makar Sankranti day. It is believed that the person, who dies during the period of Uttarayana, becomes free from transmigration(rebirth).  

On this Sankranti day also the Puja and all will be performed and different kind of sweets are made and offered to god as naivedyam.  ARISALU is the traditional sweet item made for this sankranthi festival. 

BOMMALA KOLUVU:  In the evening BOMMALA KOLUVU is arranged.

3rd day KANUMA: 

 Kanuma is the third day of the festival, Sankranti.  According to Hindu mythology, on this day Lord Sri Krishna lifted the Govardhana Hill(Govardhana Giri-Govardhana Giridhari is one of Krishna’s names).
Once Lord Indra, with his headstrong poured a heavy rain on Gokulam(Sri Krishna’s place). 

 People of Gokulam prayed to Krishna to save them from the cyclone.  At that time Sri Krishna was just about 10 years.  But without any fear, the Lord lifted the hill with his small finger.

Thus Indra realized that Sri Krishna is non other than Lord Sri Maha Vishnu and bowed on the Lord’s his feet.  

This day, the cows and buffaloes are worshipped and thanked for ploughing the fields and contributing to the harvest.  A famous saying goes..’no meat should be eaten this day’ it’s a respect we are giving our animal friends!! And people make and eat ‘GARELU’!

4th day and the final day MUKKANUMA      

Mukkanuma is the final day of Sankranti celebrations.  On this day people arrange huge feasts, invite friends and relatives. In some places, on Mukkanuma bullock cart races,kites Flying  and cock fightings are held. 

Vaikunta Ekadasi ~ Mukkoti Ekadasi

Vaikunta Ekadashi is one of the most important Ekadasis. Ekadashi is an auspicious day dedicated to Bhagvan Srihari Vishnu and falls on the eleventh day of every lunar fortnight in traditional Hindu calendar. In 2014, the date of Vaikunta Ekadasi is January 11.

 Swarga Vasal or or Paramapada opening is at 4:30 AM on January 11, 2014. Vaikuntha Ekadasi is observed in the Margali Month (Margazhi Masam) as per Tamil Calendar and in Pushya month as per Telugu Calendar. 

Vaikuntha Ekadashi is also known as Mukkoti Ekadasi and in Kerala it is known as Swargavathil Ekadasi.
Vaikunta Ekadasi festival is more elaborately celebrated by Vaishnavites. It is more prominent for Tamil and Telugu speaking people. Fasting, keep vigil at night and passing through the Vaikunta Dwaram are the important auspicious activities on the day.

Vaikunta Ekadasi is celebrated with great importance in Tirupati Balaji Temple, Srirangam Ranganathaswamy Temple, Sri PadmanabhaSwamyTemple-Thiruavanthapuram and Bhadrachalam Sita Ramachandraswamy temple. Apart from these temples, all the temples dedicated to Bhagvan Vishnu and his incarnations in South India celebrate Vaikunta Ekadasi.

The most important ritual on the day in temples is the opening of the Vaikunta Dwaram or Paramapada Vasal door in Vishnu Temples. This door is only opened on the Vaikunta Ekadasi day and devotees are allowed to pass through it. Symbolically the door leads to the Vaikunta - abode of Vishnu.

This festival is celebrated in all Vaishnava Temples across the Globe with great devotion especially in South India. A special entrance gate known as Vaikunata Dwara is opened in all Lord Vishnu Temples and it is believed that one who have the darshan of the lord through this gate(Dwara) on this day removes all sins in the life.

According to our Indian puranas/epics, it is said that on this auspicious day, 
1)The churning of Ocean Milk(KsheeraSagara Madhanam) took place,
2)Lord Shiva consumed Nanju(Poison that was emanated from the churning of the milk ocean). Hence Shaivaites celebrated this day as Nanjunda Ekadasi.
3)Nectar of Immortality(Amrutam) was obtained.
4)Lord Krishna delivered Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna on the battle of Kurukshetra.

Divya's Cooking Journey Wishes You all a Very Happy Vaikunta Darshan and Blessings from the Lord.