Price, festive spirit soar ahead of Sankranti

Price, festive spirit soar ahead of Sankranti

Bangaloreans made complete use of the holiday on Sunday, thronging the markets and shops in Rajajinagar, Malleswaram and Gandhi Bazaar to shop for Makara Sankranti, the harvest festival which will be celebrated on Wednesday.

Shops as well as hawkers on pavements were seen doing a roaring business with people buying a number of items for the festival: ‘ellu-bella, sugarcane, groundnuts, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, ‘yelache hannu’, earthen pots, among others.

In spite of the rise in the prices of all the commodities, the people’s spirit to celebrate the festival has not died down, says Savitri Nagaraj, a homemaker from Rajajinagar. She says that compared to the prices two years ago, the traditional ‘ellu’ (white sesame) prices have increased at least by 40 per cent.  Homemakers normally prepare ‘ellu-bella’ at themselves, mixing the white sesame seeds with groundnuts, dry grated coconut and jaggery. The prices of the readymade mix too has increased. Savitri says that one kg of the mix, which was available for Rs 100 to Rs 120, is now priced at Rs 150 to Rs 180. In Gandhi Bazaar, shops are selling the mix for Rs 200 per kg.

‘Sakkare acchu’ or the sugar candies, which were earlier traditionally prepared at home, too is sold for  Rs 150 per kg. 

Sugarcane, which is normally in demand during this festival, has also become a costly item. A pair of canes is priced at Rs 50 in the market.

For Tanuja, who has relocated to Bangalore from the US, it is an enriching experience as her seven-year-old daughter will be celebrating Sankranti for the first time. Tanuja, who was shopping on the streets of Gandhi Bazaar along with her daughter, says that she wants to teach her daughter about the tradition and the rituals that go into celebrating festivals in India. Her daughter was all thrilled to look around the shops selling miniature dolls that are traditionally given to children during the festival. 

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