auspicious festival of peasants, Sankranthi is celebrated in
all the hamlets of Andhra Pradesh. Also known as the
festival of grain harvest, Sankranthi is meant to ward off
the evil spirits from the crop fields. Celebrated for three
whole days, the festival is religiously followed by all the
farmers of the place.
The first day of the occasion, called as bhogi, begins with
the lighting of grass, shoots and other waste products of
the farming fields. The females of the villages wake up
early in the morning and engage in decorating the lawn of
their houses with bright rangolis. After the bonfire gets
over, the farmers .
from it and apply it on their forehead as a sign of respect
to the mother earth
On the following day, the original festival of Sankranthi is
observed. The ladies of the hamlets visit their
neighborhoods to exchange sugarcane pieces, sesame seeds and
bowl of sugar.
The third and the last day of Sankranthi – kanumu, is
celebrated in a unique manner. In the wee hours, the
peasants take their cattle to the nearby rivers, make them
bath and embellish them by coloring the horns and tying
bells in their necks. On this very day some farmers perform
the ritual of bali in which a sheep or a goat is offered to
the God of crops, while some others feed their cattle with
home-made rice and milk. The leftover of the dish is usually
spread over the farming areas by the peasants with the hope
that the crops will be safe from all kinds of bad elements.
The common dish which is made in every household of the
villages of the state during Sankranthi is pongal. Prepared
with rice and husked greengram, this one is served with
desired amount of salt and pepper.
With the end of crop harvesting season, people of Andhra
Pradesh celebrate Sankranthi with abundance of disposable
income and sufficient time for relaxation and exultation.