“The Sun Lord is auspicious and bestows auspiciousness. He subdues grief and worries, and nourishes life”
Poem to Surya
The agricultural season is just about to start, as midwinter is being celebrated and Surya the Sun God is honoured for His return and the people honour him by praying and taking a ritual cleansing bath in rivers, streams and lakes. The nights are lit with bonfires, songs and dances, the days are filled with noisy and colourful fairs as groups of children travel from household to household delivering the traditional songs of this time of the year in exchange for treats, as the blue sky is filled with colourful kites.
We are now somewhere between Nepal and India and can see faithful Hindus and Sikh celebrating the cycles of nature and expressing gratitude to the sun for sustaining their lives and the earth with joy, renewing community and mutual commitment, ritually cleansing and simply celebrating, dancing and sharing with one another, as the sun journeys into the Makara giving way to the hard work of ploughing and farming in the coming months.
Today is a really important celebration among Hindus, especially among Punjabis Himachal Pradesh and Sikhs. Today they celebrate their Midwinter festival as the sun begins journeying north and goes into Capricorn (Makara). This is the day when the Hindu faithful bathe in the Ganges river, light bonfires on the fields throughout the night. The celebration is dedicated to the Sun-God Surya, as days start to become longer.
Children going from home to home and asking for treats, colourful decoration, fairs, dances, kite flying, bonfires and feasts. Bathe in natural waters as a ceremony to thank the sun.
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