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Hadaga Festival

Hadaga Festival
Hadaga Festival

The Hadaga festival in Maharashtra is to pray for a good monsoon and a good harvest. As Indra is the god of rain, people sing songs to Indra and pray for rain. Pictures of the elephant which is Indra's vehicle are drawn everywhere to invite the God. the festival of Makar Sankranti is marked by the flying of kites in the sky. The entire sky becomes a showcase of colorful kites of various sizes and shapes. In rural Maharashtra, feasts of the new harvest mark the festival.

People exchange multi-colored tilguds made from til (sesame seeds) and sugar and til-laddus made from til and jaggery. Til-polis are offered for lunch. While exchanging tilguls as tokens of goodwill people greet each other saying - 'til-gul ghya, god god bola' meaning 'accept these tilguls and speak sweet words'. The under-lying thought in the exchange of tilguls is to forget the past ill-feelings and hostilities and resolve to speak sweetly and remain friends.

This is a special day for the women in Maharashtra when married women are invited for a get-together called 'Haldi-Kumkum' and given gifts of any utensil, which the woman of the house purchases on that day. A newly wed woman gives away oil, cotton and sesame seeds to mark this auspicious day of Makar Sankranti. This is believed to bestow upon her and her family long life and prosperity.