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Winter Solstice/Makara Sankranti Options
Gunjika
Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 6:20:06 AM
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Finding two small black dots in my glass of water startled me this morning as I was waking up to my mom's hot cup of tea. Those dots were actually black sesame seeds put in the water. Sesame is an important element of the festival that we have here today.

Makara Sankranti is being celebrated across India today which is observed as the beginning of Sun’s northward journey. More information about Makara Sankranti is available here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makar_Sankranti

It was a pleasant surprise to find out that it is celebrated across the globe, though in a different form and at a different time as winter solstice.

In India, we mark the occasion with holy baths, giving away khichri (rice, lentil and turmeric) and sesame sweets (til laddoo).




[image not available]


Kite flying is also a tradition of the day.


[image not available]



Today’s sankranti is especially important and auspicious since this celebration of Sun has fallen on a Sunday. Astrologers say that it is the best occasion for new beginnings and new projects, and endeavors would bear fruit.

I extend my best wishes for everyone. May all your desires, dreams, wishes, thoughts, goals be fulfilled.


Angel
Romany
Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 6:41:15 AM
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Gunjika =

Thank you so much for thinking of all your TFD mates.

May all your dreams come true, and may your family prosper not only in this season but throughout the year.
thar
Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 7:31:30 AM

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Happy Makara Sankranti, Gunjika!

Hope you are enjoying a good celebration, and enjoy a good year to come.Applause Applause Applause

Thanks for telling us about your festivities. As for celebrating it around the world:

Geometrically there seems to be a bit of leeway with midwinter solstice celebrations – I am sure that was a few weeks ago (and I can already feel the days getting longer, it happens so quickly)Dancing

As for others – the Christian Christmas is actually celebrated Dec 25 because it was originally on the Roman festival of Saturnalia, around the winter solstice, but in northern Europe it took over from the winter solstice celebration of Yule. In Iceland and other Nordic countries we still celebrate Jól (English Yule, still kept in supposedly ‘Christian’ celebrations as yule-log, yuletide etc.)

In Iceland there was a conflict when the Christians arrived to convert. Originally missionaries were repelled but the island wanted good relations with Norway and could not expel their missionaries, and when half the island was Christian and half Norse pagan (Æsir), there was a threat of civil war. So the parliament called on respected Thorgeir Thorkelsson to give a decision everyone would abide by. He was a pagan himself, and went into the hills to think, and came back with the decision that for future peace and unity, Christianity should become the accepted religion of the island, so long as everyone would be free to worship the Norse gods in their own homes, and practice all the pagan rites, even those banned as blasphemous by the Christian church.

He threw his Æsir idols into a waterfall now called Goðafoss – waterfall of the gods, as a message of his commitment to the agreement.

As the country became completely Christian with time, and especially as it became Lutheran after the Reformation, the pagan rituals were banned, but the point that Thorgeir Thorkelsson put the welfare of the people and aversion of war, above religious ideology, is still taught and respected here.

So, now we celebrate Christmas at the time of midwinter Jól, and have an excuse for a doubly good time! Dancing Dancing



[image not available]


[image not available]
Hope1
Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 9:06:41 AM
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Gunjika and Thar,

Thanks for the info and pix.

Enjoy your festivities! Sounds like fun. Kite flying and night parades are so colorful.

Do you have one special/traditional word to use to wish a good holiday (in English)?

Merry, happy, joyous? Or may we choose?

To both of you - what are your temperatures right now? I have never been lucky enough to travel to either of your countries and would like to learn more. (I need to learn some geography.)



Marissa La Faye Isolde
Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 9:09:56 AM
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Thank you Gunjika and Thar for the picture, recipes and information. I have always liked to celebrate the winter and summer solstices as the marking and turning of time.

FounDit
Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 9:23:47 AM

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And the people of Iceland were smote by neither their pagan gods or the Christian God for their tolerance of one another.

Wonder if there is a lesson modern folk could learn from this?

Nope. Can't think of a single one.
TL Hobs
Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 12:38:15 PM
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Location: Kenai, Alaska, United States


Best Wishes to all of you who celebrate Makara Sankranti!

We celebrate Uttarayana, the Winter Solstice, here in Alaska. You might say it is a pagan celebration. All we do is stand around a bonfire in the snow and drink beer, and cheer the fact that the days won't get any shorter than they already are. Dancing

uuaschbaer
Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 1:48:45 PM

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Happy Makara Sankranti everyone!

For some reason we call our passing-of-the-winter-solstice feast "Christmas" but it's still the same pagan imbibitional tree-worship it ever was. Lovely time.
Wobbles
Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 2:41:30 PM
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Thanks for the info on Makara Sankranti. It’s nice to know that so many cultures celebrate the coming and going of the seasons. It’s all about the rhythms of life and our place in the Universe.

Last night I spent the evening celebrating the Russian New Year with my upstair neighbors, one of whom is a Russian émigré to Canada. It’s a great experience sharing one’s culture with others.

And thanks for sharing yours,

Joe
Jeech
Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 5:20:53 PM
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Hi Ganjika and everyone, happy Makara Sunkranti!

And happy Jól!
My solute to Thorgeir, Thorkelsson for his wisdom. Thank you thar, for the information.

Happy Utteryana! It sounds like some Hindi that seems to mean Northern, TL Hobs.

And uuaschaer's pagan-Christmas! :-)

We don't have a certain winter solstice celebration here. Oh yes, new year night celebrations...
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 5:49:50 PM

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Hello Gunjika a very auspicious day indeed!

I hope you enjoyed yourself (and the sesame sweets!)




[image not available]

Romany
Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 10:52:44 PM
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...and meanwhile, here in China, the Annual Migration has already begun. It's the biggest movement of people throughout the East as tries to get back to the Hometowns for Chinese New Year. As this coming year is The Year of the Dragon and very auspicious, it also means that tons of the people who are queing in the rain and snow and battling through Railway stations and mobbing the buses are also pregnant! Chinese New Year falls on the 22nd this year.
Marissa La Faye Isolde
Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 10:56:37 PM
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A beautiful picture and saying Dranonspeaker. I love looking at it.:)
srirr
Posted: Monday, January 16, 2012 12:02:41 AM

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Thanks Gunjika. Wish you the same.

TL Hobs wrote:


Best Wishes to all of you who celebrate Makara Sankranti!

We celebrate Uttarayana, the Winter Solstice, here in Alaska.


TL, Uttarayana is an Indian festival celebrated in the western parts of teh country. Are you anyhow related to India?
Shivanand
Posted: Monday, January 16, 2012 1:11:51 AM
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Thanks mates for all the wishes!

A little more explanation from the astronomical angle: Sun enters the constellation of Capricorn from Sagittarius on the 14th or 15th of January every year. San kramana(Sankranthi)means forward movement of sun.Incidentally sun and moon do not retrograde like other planets of the universe. Hindu mythology specifies that Gods wake up to the Uttarayana, the northern traverse. It is believed that Gods are asleep during the preceeding six months or the Dakshinayana. This also coincides with the Harvesting Season in India. The newly grown grains and pulses are cooked with religious fervour on this auspicious day.

Cheers!
Gunjika
Posted: Monday, January 16, 2012 2:08:26 AM
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Thank you everyone for the replies and good wishes.

The link in my post explains the connection between winter solstice and sankranti. It is amazing to see how same things transform across continents. I read about Yule-log in a blog last year and since then was wondering about why does it sound so familiar! :D

Hope1, winter temperatures in India vary between -40 to 30 degree Celsius. There are regions where it is snowing heavily and then there are places where people do not need even sweaters. Currently, I am in between these two extremes, enjoying lazy sunny afternoons cracking roasted peanuts and sipping ginger tea.

Jeech, I expect that you will understand the gravity of the difference between my name and the one that you have typed, since you belong to Indian subcontinent. I had a good cheer imagining myself as a bald woman!
Dubai
Posted: Monday, January 16, 2012 2:16:17 AM
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Thanks Gunjida for sharing.
It was full of information.
Jeech
Posted: Monday, January 16, 2012 3:10:05 AM
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Gunjika wrote:
Jeech, I expect that you will understand the gravity of the difference between my name and the one that you have typed, since you belong to Indian subcontinent. I had a good cheer imagining myself as a bald woman!


Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't intend to spell that. It was I think, more a pronnunciation mistake than imagining you with such an amusing way. BTW, I can think of you a smart "Bharti Nari."
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Monday, January 16, 2012 4:58:00 AM

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srirr wrote:

TL Hobs wrote:


Best Wishes to all of you who celebrate Makara Sankranti!

We celebrate Uttarayana, the Winter Solstice, here in Alaska.


TL, Uttarayana is an Indian festival celebrated in the western parts of teh country. Are you anyhow related to India?


Uttarayana (Sanskrit): going towards North.
Some of our folks here seem to celebrate this feast with somewhat similar rites as the Alaskans do ;-)

@Gunjika,
thanks for sharing, and all my best wishes to you, too!
Hope1
Posted: Monday, January 16, 2012 9:32:42 AM
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Gunjika,

What a lovely, informative, picturesque thread you started.

Dragon - I think your picture would make a very dramatic monochromatic oil painting.
Either Prussian or ultramarine blue.

Happy, happy!
Harsha s
Posted: Monday, December 17, 2018 2:47:40 AM

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Appreciate your article on this great Indian festival in also there are a variety of dishes prepared across different states with different names which have been traditionally followed by people.
The rural celebration will be more when compared to the city which makes it unique to see the joy in villages...
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Monday, December 17, 2018 5:59:15 AM

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In Finland we call this period of time as joulunaikaa ;-)
Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Monday, December 17, 2018 8:46:08 AM

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Typically, the planets shift slightly eastward from night to night, drifting slowly against the backdrop of stars. From time to time, however, they change direction. For a few months, they’ll head west before turning back around and resuming their easterly course. Their westward motion is called retrograde motion by astronomers. Though it baffled ancient stargazers, we know now that retrograde motion is an illusion caused by the motion of Earth and these planets around the sun.

How does this illusion work? You can test it for yourself, the next time you pass a car on the highway. As you approach a slower car, it’s clearly moving in the same direction you are. As you pull alongside and pass it, however, from your vantage point the car appears to move backwards for just a moment. Then, as you pull ahead of it, the car appears to resume its forward motion.

The same thing happens as Earth passes the slower-moving outer planets. When we pass Jupiter or Mars or Saturn, for example, these more outward planets in orbit – which move more slowly than Earth in orbit – appear to reverse course in our sky for a couple of months.


All planets revolve around the sun except the invisible dragon and dragons tail.



https://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/questions/question46.html
Epiphileon
Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 4:21:58 AM

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Harsha s wrote:
Appreciate your article on this great Indian festival http://makarsankranti.in also there are a variety of dishes prepared across different states with different names which have been traditionally followed by people.
The rural celebration will be more when compared to the city which makes it unique to see the joy in villages...


Hello Harsha, welcome to the forum. I am curious how did you come across this post?
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 5:50:28 AM

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I could bet Harsha did a forum or Google search with "Makara Sankranti" or something like that.
Anyhow, it's good to take a look in our common history in this forum, once and awhile.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2018 3:00:48 PM

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Hello Harsha s!
Welcome to the forum.

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