Preparation for Poush Sankranti in full swing in rural Tripura

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Lankamura (Tripura), Jan. 14 (ANI): As the nation prepares for festivities on Monday for celebrating Makar Sankranti, a major Hindu festival from the midnight, in northeastern Tripura state people were preparing for the Poush Sankranti to be celebrated with much pomp and fanfare.

Women clean their houses and beautify their courtyard with decorative rangolis called alpans.

Rangoli is a traditional decorative folk art of India in which decorative designs made on floors of living rooms and courtyards during Hindu festivals.

Rina Debnath a housewife said “On the occation of Poush Sankranti we draw alpans and as new harvest comes we celebrate by cleaning and decorating our house.”

These decorative patterns and symbol of religious belief are created by the women to welcome goddess Lakshmi with good fortune, health and wealth.

Most of these women have learned all these from their earlier generation and continuing it and from them it goes to the next generation.

“We make rice cakes, sweets and various other vegetable items on the occation of the new harvest an offer them to our ancestors and which is a ritual. We are continuing it and it mainly takes place on the last day of the Poush month,” said Arati Debnath, an elder villager.

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Generally household things like rice flour, lime, different colour muds, leafs and flowers to create these patterns but now a day’s synthetic colours are also in the vogue.

“On the occation of Makar Sankranti we make decorative art pattern with rice powder and paint them with different colour mud like black, red etc. From various leaves also we extracts colour for painting,” said. Sabatri Das another housewife.

Though the art and tradition still prevails in the rural areas in the busy life of cities it does not finds much in practice. But in rural areas it is very auspicious festival and celebrated with full devotion and much pomp and show.

Women also make rice flour in traditional ways from the winter harvest and make rice cakes to welcome relatives.

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“We decorate the courtyards and house with decorative rangolies and offer rice cakes to the God. In the afternoon around 3 PM people comes out in groups singing religious songs and go to every house and pray for peace and prosperity,” said Sabita Kapali, a housewife who is preparing rice powder traditionally along with others.

According to the Hindu religion the last day of Pous month is celebrated as Makar Sankranti and on this day Bhisma died in the war of Kurukshetra between the Pandavas and Kauravs.

Makar means Capricorn and Sankranti is transition. As per the Gregorian calendar on this day the sun begins its northward journey called the Uttarayan that is from Sagittarius to Capricorn, during the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere is known as Makar Sankranti.

Makar Sankranti is celebrated in the Hindu calendar month of Magha and from this day begins the six-month long Uttarayana, considered very auspicious for attaining higher worlds hereafter.

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There is another significance of this day, after this day the days start becoming longer and warmer, and thus the chill of winter in on decline.

On Sankranti, millions of devotees are expected to throng the ghats of Ganga to take a holy dip as it is considered to be auspicious. Taking a holy dip at the Sangam also marks the beginning of Uttarayan. After bath people burn a house made of dry leaves symbolizing buring of all evil.

Usually it falls on January 14 every year and there can be a shift of one day.

The term Sankranti means overpowering of one sign over another. Sankranti is the based on solar calendar unlike other festivals that are based on lunar calendar. On this day, all rituals which pay obeisance to sun are performed. (ANI)

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