Cattle, specifically cows are considered holy gods in the Hindu society. Kanuma is the festival dedicated to the importance of cattle in the nourishment and development of the society. Kanuma also known as mukkanuma. Farmers pray and showcase their cattle to village. Cattle is considered prosperity in many Indian regions.
Kanuma forms part of the three day event called Sankranti festival. Kanuma falls on the third day of Pongal (Tamil and Malayalam) and is generally known as Mattu Pongal in Southern India and in Andhra it is called as Mukkanuma.
Families meet during the Sankranti event. For sons-in-law it is a holiday to their wife’s families. They are treated with utter honor, hospitality. After warm up with the bonfire of Bhogi ,the first day of Sankranti. which is followed by new dresses and delicious meals on the second day of Sankranti. Kanuma is the day for showcasing the gaming and betting talents.
The most eye-catching feature of Kanuma procession of most strong, masculine bulls called ‘Gangireddu’. ‘Gangireddu’ is a colorfully decorated bull led by its master who plays the ‘Nadaswaram’. Bulls are trained by ‘Yadava’ casete to nod ‘Yes’, ‘No’ and dance. Master earns money, clothes and grains by Gangireddu performance from village people. The Gangireddu can dance, nod ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ for master’s questions, kneel, bow down and stretch its tongue to show it can sing. The famous ‘gangireddu aata’ arranged in coastal Andhra areas. This event showcases bull feats to the entertain the audience. The bull puts his feet on the thighs and stomach.
In olden times, people bet lot of money on cockfights. It is considered high prestige to win. Betting on cockfights used to lead to fights, cold wars and jealousy among majestic families. It is said this reason led to a big war near Palnadu in Guntur district, called as Palnati Yudhdham. At this time, cockfights are prohibited.
The rendition of a ‘Haridasu’ from Sundarakanda or Bhagavatam makes an auspicious beginning for people. Dressed in unique attire with an ‘akshaya patra’ on the head, a ‘tambura’, and ‘chidatalu’, the Haridasu is symbol of Sankranthi culture and tradition.
India: Rangoli in Karnataka, Kolam in Tamil Nadu, Mandana in Rajasthan, Chaookpurna in Chhattisgarh, Alpana in West Bengal,Aripana in Bihar, Chowk pujan in Uttar Pradesh, Muggu in Andhra Pradesh, Golam kolam or kalam in Kerala.
1. Why is it called Makar Sankranti?
On the day of Makar Sankranthi, sun begins to move north in Makar raashi. On Makar Sankranti, the sun enters the sun-sign of Capricorn or Makara . The word ‘Sankranti’ means the movement of the sun into Capricorn.
2. One of the few Indian festivals that falls on the same day every year according to the Gregorian calender.
Most Hindu festivals are based on the lunar calendar, making the dates of festivals change every year. But Makar Sankranti is a festival which falls on the same day every year as it follows the solar calender.
3. Day and night are equally long.
As Makar Sankranti is one of the oldest solstice festivals and falls on the equinox, day and night on this day are believed to be equally long. Post the festival, it is officially the beginning of spring or the onset of Indian summer and the days become longer, and nights shorter.