Communities set to celebrate harvest festival | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Communities set to celebrate harvest festival

mumbai Updated: Jan 14, 2011 01:38 IST
Tanumoy Bose

On Friday, as Maharashtrians prepare to celebrate Makar Sankranti, they will chant, Til gud ghya god-god bola (eat sweets, speak sweetly), to forget past enmity.

“We make sesame seed and jaggery sweets such as puran polis on this day and share it with our relatives and neighbours,” said Aarti Nimkar Mahajan, who will distribute sweets in her office. The city sky will also be dotted by colourful kites, which are an integral part of the harvest festival among many communities.

The Punjabis celebrated Lohri on Thursday. Lohri is celebrated after the harvest as thanksgiving for high yield of crops. “We do Bhangra and worship fire by dancing around it,” said Jasleen Sian, 49, Andheri resident.

In most Punjabi families across the city, Lohri calls for family get-togethers and lavish dinners with sarson da saag and makki ki roti. The following day, which is Sankrant, is celebrated as Maghi.

On Saturday, Tamilians will celebrate their new year — Pongal, by boiling rice with fresh milk, jaggery cashew nuts and raisins in new pots.

“Once the rice boils over the vessel we shout Ponggalo Ponggal and this marks the onset of the New Year,” said Meena Iyer, 58, a Jogeshwari resident. After sunrise, the new boiled rice is offered to the nature god as a thanksgiving for the fine harvest.

The Bengalis will celebrate Poush Sankranti.

Freshly harvested rice and date palm syrup is used to prepare a variety of Bengali sweet. “ We make payas, puli-pithe and many other sweets for the day and also pray to goddess Laxmi,” said Ellora Bhattacharya, 33, a Vashi resident.