is brought into a mood of expectation, enthusiasm and gaiety. When
the procession reaches its designated end and the cattle are brought
home, an arati is performed and they are given food to eat. Worships
are offered in temples with sweet rice as prasad.
On this day in some parts of India, a
mixture of sesame seeds, jaggery (brown sugar), dry coconut, and
fried chaana (lentil) is offered to children when they go from one
friendís house to another to receive toys and sweets. Ordinarily
sesame is not used in festivals but only during tarpana offerings
saluting departed elders when death anniversaries are performed.
An exception is made during Sankranti
because the lord of makara raashi is believed to be Shani (Saturn),
son of Soorya. Legend has it that the son and father are bitter
enemies. As sesame is believed to be a favorite of Shani, it is
offered to appease him and assure that the power of the Sun God is
not diminished now that he is in the house of an enemy.