We were out for an evening stroll when we passed this barber shop in Mysore. It was almost dark on the busy market street as we zig zagged among overflowing fruit baskets and wooden crates which heavily cluttered the pavements in the heart of Mysore’s bustling trade area.
Unbeknown to us, Alex and I arrived in Mysore post Makar Sankranthi (The Harvest Festival) which is held on the 14-18th of January each year. The festival is a celebration which marks the beginning of Uttarayana, the sun’s movement northward for a six-month period.
After the winter solstice the sun travels once more into Makara (Capricorn) and we see the welcome onset of longer days. The Sanskrit term “Sankramana” means “to begin to move”.
From what I understand the festival gives thanks to the elements as well as all living things and is a celebration of universal love and kindness. The Makar Sankranthi festival pays respect to the earthly and solar cycles that bring life and sustain it, or at least that is my interpretation from what I have read.
If you would like to read some more for yourself here are a couple of links I stumbled upon whilst trying to discover an answer to the second question we had upon entering Mysore –
“Why are all the cows painted yellow?”
It seems they are dyed using turmeric by the way; it’s quite a sight to behold.
You can see may more photographs of India in our India galleries.