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Tripura gears up to celebrate Makar Sankranti
TIWN Jan 12, 2018
Tripura gears up to celebrate Makar Sankranti
PHOTO : Women busy in Makar Sankranti's preparations at Lankamura. TIWN Pic Jan 12

AGARTALA, Jan 12 (TIWN): Along with the capital city the rural Tripura has geared up for Makar Sankranti with the entrance of the Bengali fragrance and the art of drawing alponas.

Makar Sankranti is on Sunday.

Drawing alponas to mark the day is considered as one of the major art, and when one takes his way to the rural Tripura the fragrance of Makar sankranti could be touched all across. This day is considered as one of the auspicious time of the year, and as it is to celebrate the harvest festival, the Bengalis make all sweets with rice and palm jiggery, available in winter months.

 Poush sankranti, the last day of the Bengali month Poush, is also known as Makar Sankranti and marks the day for harvest festival in Bengal. Besides, the Bengali ladies comprising of mother and grandmother do marks the day getting busy drawing alponas at their homes. And this could be seen only if one makes his way to the rural villages of the state. When one comes to the urban houses the same alponas do marks the day of makar sankranti with sticker alponas in the floor.

Along with the moving hands of the clock the urban people has come up with several modernized accessories to mark the day of Makar sankranti, but one can find the traditional culture of the Bengalis at the rural areas. On this day mother, grandmothers spend all day making some special homemade sweets which is popularly known as “Pitha”.

Most common delicious are Pathisapta Pitha, Puli Pitha, Dudh Puli and numerous other variety of Pithas and Payesh/Kheer/Rice pudding with Khejur gur (Kheer with date palm jiggery).

Makar Sankranti, apart from a harvest festival is also regarded as the beginning of an auspicious phase in Indian culture. It is said as the 'holy phase of transition'. It marks the end of an inauspicious phase which according to the Hindu calendar begins around mid-December. It is believed that any auspicious and sacred ritual can be sanctified in any Hindu family, this day onwards. Scientifically, this day marks the beginning of warmer and longer days compared to the nights. In other words, Sankranti marks the termination of winter season and beginning of a new harvest or spring season. 

However, the Bengalis here in Tripura also sit for a picnic and get together at their houses with the children at the rural villages making small hut, popularly known as “Burir Ghor”, to mark the day of Makar Sankranti. As the festival is celebrated in winters, food prepared in this festival is made to keep the body warm and give energy. Laddu of Til (Sesame) made with Jaggery is the festivals speciality. The festival of Makara Sankranti also honours and pays respect to Saraswati - Goddess of Knowledge. Makara Sankranti represents a period of illumination, peace, affluence and happiness.

Many Melas or fairs are also held on Makar Sankranti day at the state and especially on the rural parts of the state. 

 

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