Friday, January 23, 2015

Bringing Sankranthi Indoors......

First post of this year !!! Happy to be back and be able to connect with you all this new year... Hoping and wishing that this New Year is been treating you all well so far..

Before I get into today's post - I want to start with a mention that I completed journey of one year with RangKatha this Jan. Experience of past one year has been amazing. I found new set of friends and co-bloggers whose creativity and encouragement inspired me in many ways. I was able to rediscover and pamper creative side of myself through this media and thank you all for all the support and encouragement! As I reached yet another milestone of 4000+ likes on Rangkatha FaceBook Page, a very warm welcome to all my new readers! Thank you for all your support! Keep your comments flowing.. I love to hear from you all.

Harvest Festival - Sankranthi , is the first festival of year, celebrated in most parts of India. Today I am here to share some of my snippets of this festival from my home. In my part of the world we were freezing with ice accumulation of over 2 inches during this time of the year which has compelled us to confined our Sankranthi to pretty much indoors.

Sankranthi is big with Kite flying and making Muggulu (Rangoli)... With South Indian roots and celebrating Sankranthi as I was growing up, I couldn't have imagined Sankranthi without flying kites and making Rangoli's in our courtyards! Rangolis have very special significance to this festival. Courtyards are swept and sprinkled with water or water mixed with cow dung and Rangoli are drawn and decorated with Gobbemmalu. Where Gobbemmalu are the Cow dung balls and they are decorated with turmeric powder (pasupu), red vermion powder (Kumkuma), flowers and with nine different types of grains(NavaDhanyalu).

There was no way I could have followed all these customs and rituals exactly the same way in the place where we live now, mostly because of the weather . But I was determined and was not going to let weather dampen our celebration spirit of this first festival of new year for my family. So we brought our celebrations indoor.

I have always loved the smell when water hits the dirt ground while courtyards are getting prepared for making rangolis with white chalk powder. White rangoli on earthen courtyard ground is the combination I die for! Off late even in India its hard to find courtyards that are not paved with stones or cement. But I long for this combination of white on earthen ground.

Here was my interpretation of white rangoli on earthen color to spark up my family's spirit of Sankranthi this year...
( I painted rangoli on terracotta pot)

On Sankranthi day - Its a ritual to decorate Holly Bull(Gangireddu) and pray to them!

To follow that culture I have incorporated my Nandi in my decor! Just the view of this decor element was enough for me to bring my memories back! Memories of this festival .. Preserving cultures and rituals is important, so to pass them on to our younger generations who can build their memories on top of those. After all Culture is the widening of mind and that of the spirit!

Ritual of Flying kites is one other ritual I cannot follow. There is no way to substitute it, but I tried to capture those colors of kites in my decor with colorful Tulips!

Yet another ritual is showering(blessing) kids with different types of fruits(mostly berries) and flowers.

I add candy as well to make it interesting for my kids:)

I didn't mind adding some candy to the equation to cheer up my munchkins - After all at the end of hectic and tiring school day its not easy to bring festive cheer and smile on their faces...

Living away from the country you have grown up does add few deltas in following all the festive cultures and rituals you are used to. But I like to make it a point to celebrate ours by adding all the rituals I have grown up with, even if its negligible in magnitude of what I have experienced as a child. I like to fill the gaps how ever and where ever possible so my kids have a chance to create and build their memories on top of mine and take these rituals forward.
Before I say goodbye.. have you had a chance to go over my Sankranthi post from last year??? here you go....
I pray and hope that this New Year brings in happiness, health, prosperity and peace for each one of you here . Happy 2015 !
See you all soon..

PC: All pictures are taken by me, are from my home, includes my family and are property of Rangkatha. Subject to copyright. Please do not use them.
WaterColor captures are google images.