The first Hindu festival in the new calendar year 2019 is just around the corner. The festival of Makar Sankranti will be celebrated on January 15. Makar Sankranti is the day when the sun enters the Makara or Capricorn constellation. It is the only Hindu festival that is decided upon the position of the Sun, other festivals follow the lunar calendar. The women of the household prepare special food items like Tilgul and Tilvadi during this day. Another important tradition associated with Makar Sakranti is the Haldi Kumkum ceremony. Women invite other women and perform a small ceremony of applying haldi, kumkum to them and offering sweets. It is a social gathering which wishes for the well-being and long lives of the husband. Makar Sankranti 2019 Date Changes After 100 Years! The Harvest Festival Will be Celebrated on January 15 This Time, Know Why.
The Haldi Kumkum ceremony is primarily held in parts of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Goa. It is observed by the married women who invite their friends, relatives, neighbours to meet and greet. After applying the haldi and kumkum on forehead, a perfume is also applied on the hands. The hostess gives out small gifts to her guests and offers tilgul along with light snacks. January 2019 Festivals, Events and Holiday Calendar: Makar Sankranti to Lohri to Republic Day, Know All Important Dates and List of Hindu Fasts for the Month.
History and Significance of Haldi Kumkum Ceremony
The practice of Haldi Kumkum is said to have emerged during the Peshwa rule. While the men were busy fighting battles, the women did not get a chance to leave the house. So the ladies of the royal families would invite their married friends and shower them with expensive gifts like saris or jewellery. It was a time for women to enjoy and be free for a while, get together with their friends and have merriment over snacks. The women would apply haldi and kumkum and pray for well-being of their husbands.
It is said that gifting anything around the time of Makar Sankranti is auspicious and next to receiving the grace from the Divine. The practice of organising a Haldi Kumkum continues today and each of the woman while she attends another, invites the hostess to her house for the ceremony.
Flavoured milk, sweets and Tilgul is commonly offered to the women guests Haldi Kumkum is now more of a social gathering among women and their friends. It is time they visit each others' houses and have some fun and merriment.