Makar Sankranti 2019: History, Significance of Haldi Kumkum CeremonyWishesh Special

January 07, 2019 10:17
Makar Sankranti 2019: History, Significance of Haldi Kumkum Ceremony

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The first Hindu festival in the new calendar 2019 'Makar Sankranti' is just around the corner and it is important to have knowledge of history and significance of the festival celebrated by Hindus generally.

This year, the festival is being celebrated on January 15.

It is the day when the sun enters the Makara or Capricorn constellation. It is the only Hindu festival that is decided upon the position of the Sun, while other festivals follow the lunar calendar.

Haldi Kumkum Ceremony

Besides cooking special food items, one more vital custom associated with Makar Sankranti is the Haldi Kumkum ceremony. Women invite other women and perform a trivial ritual of applying haldi, kumkum to them and offering sweets. It is a festivity wishing for the happiness and long lives of the husband.

The Haldi Kumkum ceremony is chiefly held in parts of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Goa. It is observed by the wedded women by inviting their friends, families, neighbors to meet and greet. After applying the haldi and kumkum on the forehead, a perfume is similarly applied to the hands. The hostess gives out slight handouts to her guests and offers tilgul along with light snacks.

The practice of Haldi Kumkum is supposed to have emerged during the Peshwa rule. While the men were busy fighting battles, the women did not get a chance to leave the house. Thus the ladies of the royal families would invite their married friends and shower them with luxurious gifts like saris or jewelry. It was a time for women to relish and be free for a while, get together with their friends and have merriment over snacks. The women would apply haldi and kumkum and pray for the well-being of their husbands.

It is supposed that gifting anything around the time of Makar Sankranti is auspicious ensuing grace from the Divine. The practice of organizing a Haldi Kumkum lasts even today and each of the woman while she attends another, invites the hostess to her house for the ritual.

Flavored milk, sweets, and Tilgul are usually offered to women guests. Haldi Kumkum is here and now more of a social gathering among women and their friends since it is the time they visit each other's houses and have merriment.

-Sowmya Sangam

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hindu festivals  makar sankranti