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Hadaga Festival in Maharashtra

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‘Hadaga’ festival of Maharashtra is for praying for good monsoon hence abundant harvest. Since God Indra is god of rain, people sing to Indra hoping for rain. Pictures of elephants, Indra’s vehicle, are drawn everywhere to invite God Indra. The festival of ‘Makar Sankranti’ is marked by kite-flying in the sky. Entire sky is converted to a showcase of colourful kites of various sizes and shapes. In rural Maharashtra, there are feasts of new harvest to celebrate the festival.

People exchange multicoloured ‘tilguds’ and ‘til-laddus’. ‘Tilguds’ are made of ‘til’ [sesame seeds] and sugar while ‘til-laddus’ are made of ‘til’ and jaggery. As for lunch, ‘til-polis’ are offered. While exchanging tilguds as tokens of goodwill, people greet each other. They say ’til-gud ghya, god god bola’ meaning ‘accept these ‘tilguds’ and speak sweet words’. ‘Tilguds’ are exchanged to forget ill feelings, enmities; resolve to speak sweetly to remain friends.

In Maharashtra, special day for married women invited for a get-together called ‘Haldi-Kumkum’. Invitees are gifted any utensil that woman of the house purchases on that day. A newlywed woman gives oil, cotton, sesame seeds to celebrate auspicious day of ‘Makar Sankranti’. This gesture bestows upon her and her family long lives full of prosperity.
Hadaga Festival

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