Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Makara Sankranthi

Today is Makara Sankranthi and it is a big festival in South India. We are surrounded by houses adorned by rangoli designs with colors and flowers.
While I was on my grocery errands in the morning, I saw the children of our society drawing big rangoli designs and decorating them with colorful stones. I was amazed at their enthusiasm and the team effort they had put in. Guess what? It acted as an inspiration for me as well. My mind started racing with thoughts of various kinds of designs, all geometrical shapes. I had just finished teaching Geometry to one my students so explains the designs in my thoughts.

I searched the internet for some easy designs, did not get many. So had to put my coordinate geometry knowledge to good use and apply grid systems to form symmetrical designs. To tell you the truth, while I was drawing the rangoli, I enjoyed it very much. I never realised it will be so much fun.

Thanks to the kids, I also happened to read about the significance of the occasion as well. I would share the same information maintaining brevity.

Sankranthi is celebrated mid-January.

Astrological significance
The word is derived from sat and kranti or sankramana, meaning "sacred movement." The festival takes place when the sun moves from Dakshanayanam to Uttaryanam. It is known as Makara Sankranthi due to the transition of the Sun from Sagittarius to Capricorn. This is significant considering the Winter Solstice marks the beginning of the gradual increase of the duration of the day.

Agricultural significance
This is a harvest festival. The crops sowed by the farmers are harvested now. Symbolically, the first harvest is offered to the Almighty and shared with the poor and the needy. Sweet delicacies are prepared on this auspicious day!

Kite-flying is the sport that marks the occasion. The sky is covered with colorful kites flown by children.

Happy Makara Sankranthi or Happy Pongal to all! May God bless the people of the world with peace and contentment!!

I would now like to share my Rangoli experiments:


  1. well good job considering the experimenting...i am sure you would become a pro soon with so many indian festivals providing you this opportunity ;-).....

  2. Yeah! right! and staying in hyderabad where practically every household entrance is decorated by a rangoli design, there is no need of festival also. I get daily inspiration from them!! :)


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