Hyderabad: The three-day Sankranti festivities began in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh today with villages and small towns coming alive as thousands of Telugus travelled to their native places from urban centres.
'Bhogi', the first day of the festival, was celebrated today with traditional fervour. Bhogi 'mantalu' (bonfire) were lit at dawn outside the homes. The bonfire is lit with logs of wood and wooden furniture that is no longer useful. Discarded things at home are also thrown into the fire. The disposal of discarded things symbolises the sacrifice of old habits, vices and attachment to material things.
Traditionally, women spray cow dung and water in front of the house and draw colourful 'muggulu' (rangoli) and keep 'gobbemmalu' (cow dung balls) decorated with turmeric, kumkum and flowers on the rangoli.
In the evenings, 'Bhogi pallu' (Indian jujube) are showered on children seeking their health and prosperity. The Telangana government is organising a 'kite festival' and 'World Sweet Festival' at the Parade Grounds here on the occasion.
People from about 25 states and some foreign countries, who live in Hyderabad, have set up stalls showcasing sweets from their respective places. However, those engaged in sweets business, like caterers and hoteliers are not allowed to take part in the event.
Children and youth took to flying kites on apartment terraces and open grounds. Former Union minister and Secunderabad MP Bandaru Dattatreya participated in a kite flying event here.
The second day of the festival is 'Makara Sankranti' and the last day is celebrated as 'Kanuma', when livestock are worshipped. Thousands of people living in Hyderabad travelled to to their native places for the festival. A large number of Telugu people living abroad and in other cities in the country are also visiting their native places.
The Secunderabad-headquartered South Central Railway said as many as 147 special trains are being run for Sankranti season through which 1.5 lakh additional berths have been generated.
The state-run Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) and Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) have also arranged a large number of special buses on the occasion. The Hyderabad-Vijayawada highway witnessed heavy traffic as many people travelled in own cars to their destinations.
Governor of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana ESL Narasimhan, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, state Congress president N Uttam Kumar Reddy, state BJP Chief K Laxman and other leaders conveyed their greetings to the people. (PTI)
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