In India, on the day of the sun transiting into the Capricorn, the locals celebrate a festival, called Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Thai Ponga, Maghi, Lohril, etc thanking the gods for a blessed harvest. This day also is observed because of the end of the winter solstice, performing acts like painting beautiful Mandalas, flying kites, dancing around bonfires, and of course eating spreads of savories and delicacies (don't roll your eyes). .
On a different note, we also believe in a seven and half year long curse of the god Shani (Saturn in the planetary system) which is marked by persistent challenges, continued troubles, maligning of personality, horrific experiences, and abandonment of friend and foe. It is based on one's birth sign and based on my birth sign, I'm going through the thickest phase of this curse. I do not give much credence to this belief, but my faith does. And you know what the real test is? It's the treatment that questions your faiths and plants doubts and you are left with thoughts, 'maybe it is all just the phase of the Saturn and not me...'. It is convenient, isn't it? Your troubles are not due to your actions, but just the planetary motion of the constellation. .
Coming back to the story of Sankranti, it does bear some resemblance to the Thanksgiving holiday we celebrate in the United States. I have had good and bad thanksgiving holidays, but this one seems especially difficult. These times shall pass and good tidings shall come again. I am willing and excited to fight these hardships, but I need strength. .
Happy thanksgiving to you, my friends. .
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