Our guest blogger Shailu, 9 years old, tackles the important question: what's so special about the harvest festival Sankranti?
Let's kick off the Elementary School Guest Blog edition with Sankranti.
Sankranti is important to us and other Hindus around the world. First, I will tell you a little bit about Sankranti. Then I will tell you about what I think about Sankranti. Let's learn a little bit about this festival.
First, I will tell you a little bit about Sankranti. Sankranti is four days long, and celebrates Surya, the sun god. Sankranti is in January, and in the U.S, it happens from the 13th-16th. The main day of Sankranti is the 14th. Sankranti happens at approximately the same time every year, which is a little bit unusual because Hindu festivals usually follow a lunar based calendar. Sankranti marks the end of winter season and is India’s most important harvest festival.
A common practice during Sankranti is that farmers bathe their cattle. They also polish the cattle's hooves and horns, decorate them with colorful paints, and put bells on them. After that, they lead the cattle in a procession, which is basically a parade. At the end of the procession, the cattle and the handlers jump over a bonfire. These rituals act as protective spells against evil. It also symbolizes the bond between humans and nature. Some other traditions include drawing rangoli patterns, flying kites, taking a dip in a holy river, and eating sweets cooked with sesame seeds.
Next, I am going to tell you what I think about Sankranti. I wonder how they got the cattle to jump over the bonfire? I feel like it could be a little dangerous for the cows. What if they tripped and fell into the fire instead? What if they did not know that the fire was dangerous and stepped right in? This is just my opinion, what do you think?