Makara Sankranti also known as Pedda Panduga(Peddala Panduga) or Til Sankranti is celebrated on the 14th January every year. It makes the commencement of the Sun’s journey to the Northern Hemisphere, in other words the sun moves from Dakshinayana to Uttarayana. The day falls on the 14th January every year according to the Solar Calender. It is also a big event for the Tamils and the Telugu people of Andhra Pradesh.
Sankranti is celebrated three days festival. The first day is Bhogi. It is celebrated as a family festival. On this day Goddess Goda Devi married Lord Vishnu. On the day of ‘Bhogi’ people wake up in the early morning take all waste material by making a bonfire in front of their houses. This is called ‘Bhogi Mantalu’. After that, they wearing new clothes after an oil massage bath. In the evening they pour ‘Bhogi Pallu’ ( Regi pallu, floral petals & coins) on children’s head. Another important aspect of Sankranti festival celebrated in Andhra Pradesh is Bommala Koluvu & Gobbemma, the display of various dolls and toys. A variety of dolls are arranged beautifully in a selected place of the house and displayed to all guests, who come to see it. They gave fruits & sanagalu to the guests.
The second day festival is ‘Pongal’. It is celebrated by boiling rice with fresh milk and jaggery in new pots, early in the morning and allowing it to boil over the vessels. This tradition gives pongal its name. On that day Haridas, Gangireddulu and Jangamayyalu move one home to another home and beg. In the evening the whole family members enjoy with kites. They fly the kites. Many traditional dishes will be prepared on the day of Sankranti, such as Ariselu, Kajjikayalu, Murukulu, pulihora, garelu, burelu and pongali. They visit reletives & friends homes and exchange sweets and greetings.
The third day of festival is Kanuma, it is a harvest festival, the farmer cultivates the lands depends on his cattle. On these days farmers are very happy because this is the season of cultivate food grains come home. It is for offering thanks to cattle, as they help farmers in different ways for agriculture. On this day the cattles are decorated with paint, flowers and bells. In some places Jalli Kattu, Eddla Pandalu contest in the main event of this day in the villages.
The newly wedded couple, the new son in laws and daughters receive great respect and courtesy in the parrent in laws houses during Sankranti festival. Sankranti is also a kolam festival. Kolam decorating are made in front of the houses during pongal festival. In Sankranti day most of the people will performing ‘Tarpanam’ for their ancestors and pray for peace to their souls. They donate pumpkins to Pandits or Purohits.