In my previous post I wrote about the most significant and enjoyable tradition of Kite flying during Sankranti festival. The above photographs are of two other colorful and enjoyable rituals practiced during Sankranti – Muggu and Bhogi Pandlu.
Muggu is a symmetric design drawn on floor or on ground in front of the entrance to the house by the girls and women of the household. These patterns and designs were originally made using rice flour but nowadays it is mostly with course limestone (white) powder and color powders. A handful of flour or limestone powder is held in the right hand and through the thumb and index finger a pattern of dots is first made on the ground. And then these dots are either joined through straight or curved lines or intricate lines drawn around these dots to make very attractive designs. Such designs are then filled with color powders to make them much more attractive. Muggu is considered auspicious, a decoration to the house, a pleasant welcome sign and one that creates happiness to all members with its beauty. And I remember being told in childhood that the rice flour would serve as food to ants and insects which would in return bless the family members. On Sankranti day another ritual is of placing decorated Boddemmas at the Gadapas of all doors in the house along with Navadhaanyalu and Garkha (grass). The next day after Sankranti is Kanumu panduga when the ladies would get dressed in Yellow and make a Ratham (Chariot) Muggu. The above pictures would give you an idea of the colorful Muggu, the plural being Muggulu.
The other photographs are of Bhogi Pandlu ritual in our house over the years. This ritual is to bless the children with happiness, prosperity and to protect them from evil forces. Wild berries (Regi Pandlu), pieces of Sugar cane, Jajar gadda, Jeedi pandlu, Hari boot, Vepakayalu (a namkeen), Coins and if possible tiny flowers made of Gold and Silver are all mixed together and this is showered on the head and body of children by all the ladies in the house to ward off evil and bless them abundantly.
Links to my Sankranti Festival related other blog posts: