“Sankranti defines happiness to me. For the entire month before the festival, we design huge moggus around the house. The custom follows that we soak and dry out cow dung cakes, atop which we place lamps. The moggus are decorated with petals, colours and marigold flowers, making them look extremely pretty and wholesome!
Although we hail from Khammam, we’ve been following the same traditions since pre-bifurcation. We gift new clothes to everybody in the family, and prepare a very special sweet called Ariselu- we make it out of ghee and pindi, you must try it if you haven’t! Also, considering it is the harvest festival, our sweets and foods are primarily made out of our fresh harvest, it is a very gratifying feeling.
An interesting thing to note is that while a lot of people disregard a lot of our customs for being irrationally religious, there is actually a scientific backing to the bonfires at Bhogi. The cow dung fires that we make are actually extremely good for the crops, killing off a lot of the germs that are detrimental to our harvest.
When we were younger, we were always taught to clean up before entering the house and making sure that we are taking care of our health and bodies. Over time, those habits have gotten lost on our children. Strangely, due to covid, those habits are returning. I wouldn’t say it’s a good thing, but I do believe it is very important to acknowledge where we come from.
The kites? Well, I’m not very good at flying kites, I kind of just like to wear my sunglasses and watch my family do all the work! I still take the kids of the family to the temple though, as well as perform the Bhogi pallu. This is a ritual where jujube fruits along with coins are poured onto the heads of children, it’s very fun for all of us. Just because they’re growing up in a different generation doesn’t mean they can’t still hold their ancestral values strong. There should be an even mix of tradition and modernism- we must hold onto our roots WHILE we advance in life and society. So yes, as I said, Sankranti is truly pure happiness and love to me, and I hope to pass this on to the next generations too.”