Spirit of Sankranti grips region

The festival celebrates crop harvest

Spirit of Sankranti grips region

After New year, the city is all set to celebrate festival of harvest, Sankranthi. While vendors selling veggies and flowers made brisk business, people, especially women were seen indulging in last minute shopping for the festival, here on Tuesday. 

However for most Mysoreans, preparations for Sankranti started as early as a week ago. Elders at home were seen preparing 'ellu-bella', a mixture of white sesame seeds, fried groundnut, finely-cut copra and jaggery, which, married and young women go about offering among friends and relatives on the day of the festival. The mixtures is offered along with a piece of sugarcane, fruits, and ‘sakkare achchu’ (sugar candies) in a tray. The candies are either prepared at home or bought from shops.        
  On the eve of Sankranti, houses were cleaned and decorated with mango leaves. Huge ‘rangolis’ are drawn in front of the courtyard -- a sign of welcoming the festival. Supreetha, a homemaker recalled that when she was young, she used to visit every house in the street in groups to offer ellu-bella. “My younger sister continues to do so. But I visit only relatives and friends now,” she said.

In areas like KG Koppal in city limits, where majority of milkmen reside, cows are decorated for the occasion. The practice of making cows cross pyre is still followed in this area as well in the several parts of the district. 

Sankranti, results in good business for traders. The rise in the prices of fruits, flowers and other articles has not dampened the Mysoreans' festive spirit. Traders made brisk business since morning at Devaraja Market on Tuesday. As it was a holiday, markets in the city were seen bustling with activity with people bargaining over the rates of fruits, flowers and vegetables.

The highlight of the day however is the elaborate breakfast and lunch, with sweet pongal, a speciality made of rice, dal and jaggery, being served as the main dish. Other delicacies like ‘chitra anna’, ‘payasa’, ‘vade’, dishes made of ‘avarekai’, pumpkin and sweet potato, etc, are prepared on the day.

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