Hyderabad, Jan 14 (IANS) Telangana on Thursday celebrated Sankranti, a major harvest festival, with traditional fervour.
A festive atmosphere prevailed in residential colonies in Hyderabad and the outskirts besides towns and villages.
The day began with the women cleaning their houses and decorating the entrances with intricate ‘rangoli’ designs.
They also set cow-dung balls called ‘Gobbemma’ and placed a fresh harvest of rice, turmeric and sugarcane. The houses were decorated with marigold flowers and mango leaves.
Sankranti is a major festival, which highlights the rich Telugu culture.
Large number of women participated in ‘Muggu’ or ‘Rangoli’ competition held in Warangal.
Similar competitions were organised in Karimnagar and Jangaon.
The celebrations kicked off on Wednesday with ‘Bhogi’ or burning of old and unwanted items like old clothes, mats and broom sticks in the belief that new things will usher into their lives.
Lakhs of people employed in Hyderabad headed to their homes in various districts of Telangana and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
‘Haridasus’ and ‘Basvannas’, the uniquely attired alm seekers with ornately decorated oxen, made rounds of the villages. Youths took to kite flying across the state.
The families, after offering prayers in temples, prepare various dishes, especially Pongal — made of rice and daal. Decoration of bulls, cock-fight, bull fight and other rural sports mark the festival.
While the Telangana government cancelled the international kite and sweet festival, an annual event, in view of Covid-19, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) organised the kite festival at Necklace Road on the banks of Hussain Sagar lake in Hyderabad.
Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy inaugurated the festival. He greeted the people and hoped that Sankranti will usher in happiness and prosperity.
The BJP leader hoped that Covid vaccination beginning on Saturday will bring an end to the pandemic which gripped the country for nearly a year.
He said it was matter of pride that out of four vaccines developed in the world, two have come from India and one of the companies in India is based in Hyderabad.
Kishan Reddy, BJP OBC Morcha national president K. Laxman and other leaders participated in kite flying.
State Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao greeted people on Sankranti.
“I wish the Sankranti, which is the festival of harvest, may bring in abundant happiness, prosperity, and health to you all.
“Makar Sankranti has a great significance in our cultural horizon and is celebrated with lot of gaiety and jubilation. Makar Sankranti is the day when we enter into auspicious phase of time and true to its traditional significance, this year our country is launching the world’s biggest vaccination programme to protect the people from Covid-19,” she added.
The Chief Minister hoped that the state should be prosperous, wealthy and also be blessed with happiness and joy.
He prayed for people to live in peace and happiness. He urged people to celebrate the festival with joy.