INDIA, January 9, 2013 (boldsky.com): Hindu Festivals are an exuberant celebration of peace and harmony and Makar Sankranti (Thai Pongal) is no exception. It is an amalgamation of spirituality and science with great pageantry. Makar Sankranti is a major harvest festival celebrated in various parts of India. According to science, the winter solstice comes to an end where the transition of sun from the Tropic of Capricorn to the Tropic of Cancer or from Dakshinayana to Uttarayana commemorates the beginning of the harvest season.
Makar Sankranti identifies a period of enlightenment, peace, prosperity and happiness followed by a period of darkness, ignorance and viciousness with immense sorrow. The significance of sugarcane is also marked by a fact that life is a mixture of both good and bad, agony and ecstasy, bitter and sweet so on, which epitomizes that life is an assortment of balances and the great balancing act is what makes an individual attain self-actualisation.
Makar Sankranti or Pongal in Tamil Nadu is celebrated in myriad ways. Since Sankranti marks the harvest season, the crops and grains that are grown signify prosperity and happiness. Sugarcane is usually distributed on this day along with sweets made of Til (sesame seeds), jaggery and groundnut. Til is said to be a nourishing agent for the body, while jaggery which is rich in minerals helps in digestion. Sugarcane has many medical properties which is known to prevent cancer and strengthen the stomach, kidneys, liver and the reproductive organs.
Sugarcane is considered spiritual on harvest festival at any part of the country. You can find sugarcane in Tamil Nadu (Pongal), Northern states (Sankranti), Punjab (Lodhi) to name a few. Sugarcane being the most important harvest of the season signifies prosperity and well being.