Makar Sankranti marks the transition of the sun towards Makar (Capricorn) and it is a way of paying respect to the Sun God. In a primarily agricultural economy and culture, the Sun which influences all our seasons and ultimately the harvests, holds a special importance. Makar Sankranti is always celebrated on 14th (or 15th in leap year) January every year as it is celebrated according to the Solar calendar.
Makar Sankranti; also called as Lohri, Bihu and Pongal in other Indian states; is a harvest festival that celebrates all the winter produce and it is a way to thank Mother Nature for this blessing.
In India, January is nearly the end of winter, but the days still have chill in the air. At this time, the body requires high calorific value foods that give warmth from within and produce enough heat for the body to survive the winters. It is thus customary to exchange sweets made out of til (sesame) and gud (jaggery), both of which are foods generating heat. Sesame seeds are also a good source of Omega-6 fatty acids and several micronutrients like copper, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, potassium and Vitamins A, E, Thiamine and Niacin.
When tilgul is exchanged in Maharashtra, we say ‘tilgul ghya, goad goad bola’ to each other; through which request each other to accept this sesame sweet, forget our past bitterness and let sweetness fill our relationships. On this note, I will be sharing these Sankranti and Pongal recipe with everyone in my next posts…
- Til-Gud Ladoo
- Til-Gud Vadi
- Til-Gud Poli
- Sakkarai Pongal