Sankranthi in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

Sankranthi is an important festival observed by Telugu speaking people in January in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. It is quite similar to the Pongal Festival observed in Tamil Nadu and Makar Sankranthi observed in other parts of India. Sankranthi 2016 date is January 15.

Sankranthi is a four-day festival. The Bhogi festival is observed on the first day and second day is the most important day and is known as Sankranthi or Pongal. The third day of the festival is Kanuma and fourth and final day is referred as Mukkanuma. Uttarayana Punnyakalam period begins with Sankranthi and the next six months are considered highly auspicious.

On the Sankranthi day, ‘Pongali’, a dish prepared from the recent rice harvest is offered to Sankranthi Lakshmi. This is quite similar to the dish prepared in neighboring Tamil Nadu during Pongal. An important side dish prepared on the day is the pumpkin curry. 'Arselu' or special ‘Sankranthi Appam' is an important sweet delicacy prepared during Sankranthi.

A major highlight of Sankranthi festival in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana is charity or alms giving. Most people make it a point to share whatever they have with other people. Sweets and milk products are shared between relatives and neighbors. Gifting pumpkin is another highlight. Idols of various gods in Hindu pantheon, bronze utensils, and clothes are given away on the day.