VEPACHEDU EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION
Every month the Sun moves from one zodiac constellation to another and the day on which Sun changes the constellation is called Sankranti. Makara Sankranti (January 14, 1999), the Sun’s movement into Capricorn (Makara) constellation is considered very important, as it is the beginning of a six-month period of the auspicious time of Sun’s northern course called Uttaraayana Punya Kaalamu (Uttaraayana =northern course, Punya=divine, Kaalamu=time). Bhogi is the day preceding Sankranti and Kanumu is the day after Sankranti. One month preceding Makara Sankranti is known as Dhanurmasamu. During the entire Dharnurmasamu girls decorate the mungili or vaakili (the entrance to the house) with huge muggulu (designs with lime sand, turmeric and kumkuma) with Gobbemmalu (globes made of cow dung and decorated with flowers, turmeric and kumkuma, and incense) in the center, and worship Gobbemma (Goddess, Mother Gobbi) while singing and dancing around the muggu (design).
On Bhogi day in the early morning, a bon fire is lit up with waste, before the traditional special bath. In the evening Bommala Koluvu (arrangement of images of Gods, toys and dolls) and Bhogi pallu (Zyziphus fruits, floral petals and coins) showers for children, Perantamu (gift giving that includes clothes, lentils, betel leaves, betel nuts, flowers, turmeric and kumkuma) for women are given. Pulagamu with fresh rice from the harvest and a kalagalupu koora (mixed vegetable curry) with chikkudu (beans), vankaya (egg-plant or brinjal) and other vegetables are prepared. Pongali (rice pudding with milk) is an important item during this festival. That is why this festival is also known as Pongal in Tamil. Special dishes like karapupusa & chakkilalu (brittle salted and peppered lentil pretzels) palakayalu (hard fried rice globules), ariselu (sweet rice cakes) etc., are also prepared. On Kanumu day animals are decorated and races are held, sometimes the banned cockfights, bullfights and ramfights are included. Sun, Mahabali (a mythological Asura king) and Godadevi (Goddess Goda) are worshipped during this harvest festival.
By the way, my wife calls the Kalpavrikshamu, the Xmas tree and
thinks Santa gives the boons. Well, I know the truth and the correct path
to get the divine gift of peace!
Happy Makara Sankranti and a Very Happy and Peaceful New Year! Sreenivasarao Vepachedu,
Vachindi Vanchindi Sankranti
Techindi Techindi Kotta Kanti
Maa Palle Ayyindi Mustabu
Daanikinka ledandi Javaabu
Haridaasu paata "Harilo ranga hari"
Chinnavaalla maata " Bari ledando mari"
Bulli papa Aaata " Gobbilloyi Gobbilloyi"
Chinnakkala pani " Muggulloyi Muggulloyi"