Makar sankranti is one of the most famous festival of uttarakhand. It is celebrated all over in india but in uttarakhand it is celebrated as ghuguti sankranti or Uttarayani. It signals the shift of summer for the Uttarakhand individuals. Ghuguti and khajur of different shape are made on this ocassion . Children make mala of these sweet which are made from flour and gur . sweets are also given to birds which are migrated from other area . Small children sings song to attract birds.
Ghughute (घुघुते) in Kumaun region is prepared from flour kneaded with jaggery. The dough is made into different shapes and then deep fried. The most common shape resembles the Hindi letter 4 while shapes of drums, knives, and swordsare also common. All the sweets are tied together and made into a garland. The number of garlands equals the number of children. On the day of the festival, the children wear the garland and feed the food to the crows early in the morning. The child who is able to feed the crow first is considered lucky.
“Tale of Ghuguti”
The main attraction of this festival (Ghuguti) is the crow. Children feed the crooked crows made on this day and say – “Black crow eat black garland.”
According to a popular legend, when the kings of the Chandra dynasty ruled in Kumaon. King Kalyan Chand had no children. His minister thought that I would get the kingdom after the king.
Once King Kalyan Chand Sapatnik went to the Baghnath temple and prayed for the children. By the grace of Baghnath, they had a son named Nirbhaychand. Nirbhay used to call his mother affectionately as ‘Ghughuti’. Ghughuti had a pearl garland around his neck with a knob attached to it. Ghughuti was very happy wearing this garland. When he insisted on something, his mother would tell him not to insist, otherwise I will give the rosary to the crows.
To intimidate him, ‘Black crow eat black rosary’. When the crows arrived at the call of the mother, she would give them something to eat. Ghughuti gradually became friends with the crows.
On the other hand, the minister started thinking of killing Ghughuti so that he would get the throne. The minister along with some of his colleagues hatched a conspiracy. One day when Ghughuti was playing, he raised him silently and went towards the forest, then a crow saw him and started shouting loudly. Hearing his voice, Ghughuti started crying loudly and took off his garland and started showing it.
Then all the crows gathered and hovered over the minister and his companions. A crow snatched the garland from Ghughuti’s hand. All the ravens simultaneously attacked the minister and his companions with their beaks and claws. The minister and his companions panicked and ran away.
Ghughuti remained alone in the forest. He sat under a tree and all the crows also sat in the same tree. The crow who had taken the necklace went straight to the palace and hung the rosary on a tree and started talking loudly.
When people’s eyes fell on her, she put the garland of Ghughuti in front of Ghughuti’s mother. Everyone recognized the rosary. Everyone speculated that the crow knows something about Ghuguti. The king and his horsemen followed the crows. After going some distance, the crow sat on a tree.
The king saw his son asleep under the tree. He picked up the son, hugged him and returned home. As Ghughuti’s mother returned on her return home. The mother showed the garland of Ghughuti and said that if this garland were not there today, Ghughuti would not be alive.
ghuguti makar sankranti uttarayani
The king executed the minister and his companions. After Ghughuti got the mother, she made many dishes and asked Ghughuti to call her friend Crows and feed them. Ghughuti called the crows and fed them. This thing gradually spread all over Kumaon and took the form of a children’s festival. Since then, we celebrate this festival with great pomp on this day every year.
Ghuguti makar sankranti uttarayani
This dish is made from sweet flour which is named ‘Ghughut’. Children make a garland and put crows on their neck on the day of Makar Sankranti and call crows.