Makara Sankranti is here and youngsters in the city are making the best of it by buying themselves new clothes and treating themselves to a lot of homemade goodies.
It is the energy associated with Sankranti that makes it popular. Sugar candies, 'Sakkare acchu' and 'Ellu bella' - a delightful mix of coconut, jaggery, peanuts and sesame seeds - are distributed among friends and family.
Dania Shahed Sait, a student, associates Sankranti with plenty of colour and laughter. She remembers being invited to her friends house for a kite flying session during Sankranti two years ago. "That was the first time that I ever tried flying a kite and I remember even hurting my finger. But I had so much fun that day and all the celebrations gave me an insight into the significance of the festival," says Dania.
She also loves watching her neighbours draw 'rangoli' in front of their homes on Sankranti. "We get lots of homemade goodies from our neighbours during the festival and I wait to savour every one of the dishes," she adds.
On Sankranti, Aksharaa Jandhyala, another student, makes it a point to spend time with her time. "Festivals are an excuse to invite friends over and spend quality time with the family. We are all busy with our own lives that we get very little time to spend at home. In today's technologically-driven world, festivals reinstate the importance of family time and togetherness," reasons Aksharaa.
Joshitha Achappa, a student of Mount Carmel College, couldn't agree more about the importance of family time during festivals. "Celebrating festivals in the traditional way helps youngsters understand the meaning of every festival. If you look at festivals as just another holiday then you cease to feel one with the culture of the country. We must celebrate festivals just to preserve our
culture for posterity," feels Joshitha.
Festivals like Sankranti keep youngsters rooted to their tradition, feels Pooja M S, a student of Mount Carmel College. "We live in an era where people prefer to communicate with each other through social media or through SMSes. Festivals are a time when we visit family and friends and ring in the traditional mode of celebrations. How will youngsters understand the importance of festivals unless they are taken through its significance?" wonders Pooja.
Decorating the house and distributing homemade sweets and savouries among family and friends is a big of the celebration in Ashika Kumar's house. Ashika helps her mother prepare some the traditional dishes for Sankranti.
"Shopping for clothes and jewellery for Sankranti begins well in advance. I also help my mother make the 'Ellu Bella' which is then distributed among family and friends. And everybody who visits us gets to take back a little something with them," she signs off.