Sankranti is an important festival for
people in rural Andhra. They look forward
to this harvest festival, which has different attractions for different
people. Makara Sankranti festival expresses the farmer's gratitude for the
harvest he has recently reaped. With crops harvested people have both
money and leisure to make merry with.
Houses are spruced up, cattle are bathed and decorated. The young girls and women decorate the front yards of their houses with colourful 'Rangavallis'. Farmers give new clothes and grain to the labourers who work for them. Housewives prepare many mouth-watering delicacies. Many families arrange "Bommala Koluvu" (a doll show) and invite their friends in the evening on Sankranti day.
Time For The Festivity
Sankranti is commenced from the beginning of "Dhanurmasam'. The celebrations last for 3 to 4 days; the first day is Bhogi, the second day being Sankranti and the third day as Kanuma. The fourth day, "Mukkanuma", is also celebrated by some. The first day is "Bhogi". The whole of the family gets up early in the morning. With the help dung-cakes Bhogi flames are lit where the household sit to get warmth. Thereafter the whole family takes head bath.
Sankranti falls on the second day. The new son-in-law's receive great respect and courtesy in the houses of the parents-in-law on that day. The third day consists of Kanumu festival; which is primarily a festival for farmers. They decorate the cattle on that day and exhibit their gratitude to the cattle without whose help they could not acquired riches.
The celebrations include some races, both to entertain and to boost their endurance capacity. These races include cock fights, bull fights and ram fights. All the three days, rich and poor alike, have a good time.
"Gangireddulu", "Buda-Budakkalu" and "Daasarlu" going around singing songs and collecting gifts and alms are common sights. On this day people give alms to the poor and never say no to any body.
Kodi Pandaalu or Cock fighting as it is
popularly known, is a rural sport that involves betting on the fight
between two cocks. It is very popular in the villages of
Andhra Pradesh. People train the cocks and
bet on them. Specially reared birds try to claw out their opponents with
their knife bound feet.
These fights are generally held in a prosperous farmers courtyard, and wagers are taken on their outcome. Sometimes the betting is done in lakhs. This sport draws large crowds and is usually played during Sankranti.