Sankrant & Chaitra Haldi Kumkum
Haldi Kumkum, or the Haldi Kumkum ceremony, is a social gathering in India in which married women exchange haldi (turmeric) and kumkum (vermilion powder), as a symbol of their married status and wishing for their husbands’ long lives. I visit Vadodara every year to celebrate Makar Sankrant and Haldi Kumkum
The ceremony is particularly popular in the western Indian states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Goa. Married women invite friends, relatives and new acquaintances to meet in an atmosphere of merriment and fun. On such occasions, the hostess distributes bangles, sweets, small novelties, flowers, betel leaves and nuts as well as coconuts.
The festival of Makar sankranti requires small mud pots called sugad (in Marathi language). Vermilion and turmeric powder is applied to the pots and a thread is tied to them. They are filled with carrots, jujube fruits, sugarcane pieces, pods, cotton, chickpeas, sesame seeds with jaggery, vermilion, turmeric etc. Five pots are placed on a wooden seat, rangoli is drawn around the seat and worshipped. Of these, three are gifted to married women, one is offered to the Tulsi plant and one is retained.’
Giving a gift to another woman amounts to surrendering to the Divinity in the other, through body, mind and wealth. Since the period of Makar sankranti is favourable for spiritual practice, a gift given during this period results in bestowal of Divine grace and the individual gets the desired fruit.
Maximum use of sesame seeds is made during Makar sankranti festival. For example, bathing with water containing sesame seeds and eating and distributing tilgul (a sweet made from sesame seeds), offering sesame to Brahmans, lighting lamps of sesame oil in a temple of Deity Shiva and performing pitrushraddh (rite for the departed ancestors) in which an offering of sesame seeds is made.
Chaitra Gauri Haldi Kunku – a social gathering for women in Maharashtra . Chaitra is the first month of Hindu Calendar and Gudhi Padwa the first day of the year for Maharashtrians. On the third day ie Tritiya of Chaitra month , Goddess Parvati also known as Gauri is worshiped by married women and they invite other married women and girls for Haldi Kunku and felicitate them with Haldi Kumkum, a blouse piece and Coconut. Kairichi Dal and Kairi Panha are fixed menu for this Haldi Kumkum event. My friends Rupali & Meena invited us over for the Chaitra Haldi Kumkum and made the most authentic Maharashtrian delicacies. This event was hosted by Silks (Paithani sarees online store)
Photos for Chaitra Haldi Kumkum were clicked by Manasi Watve Photography
Here is the link to the recipe.
More pics on below gallery