Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tilgul Ghya God God Bola

I always wondered why ' Makar Sankrati' always celebrated on January 14th when all other Hindu festivals keep changing their dates every year ?
I got the answer from vedanta mission website. It says that the traditional Indian Calendar is basically based on lunar positions, but sankranti is a solar event, so while dates of all festivals keep changing, the English calendar date of Makar Sankranti is always same, 14th January.
Makar means Capricorn and Sankranti is transition. There is a sankranti every month when the sun passes from one sign of the zodiac to the next. There are twelve signs of the zodiac, and thus there are twelve sankranti's as well. Each of these sankranti's has its own relative importance but two of these are more important - the Mesh (Aries) Sankranti and the most important, the Makar (Capricorn) Sankranti. Transition of the Sun from Sagittarius to Capricorn, during the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere is known as Makar Sankranti. From this day begins the six-month long Uttarayana, considered very auspicious for attaining higher worlds hereafter.
How I miss those tiny saffron, green and white coloured porcupine sugar crystals encapsulating a single sesame seed. I did attempt making those in Delhi winter using room heater - pouring a fine trickle concentrated sugar syrup on heated sesame seeds and by stirring continuously till porcupine edges sprouted up. Does constant dull heat of the pan amidst chill weather brings out this ? I am not sure. But it's enjoyable seeing marvellous crystalline shapes despite strenuos efforts spanning hours.

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