Ghughutiya Tyohaar

Ghughutiya Tyohaar

Across India each region has its own traditions of mid-winter festivals. Makar Sankranti is one of the most important festivals in Hindu culture, which is dedicated to the Sun God . 

The festival of Ghughutiya, called  “घुघुतिया त्यौहार” is celebrated in Kumaon, Uttarakhand on the eve of Makar Sankranti. This auspicious festival celebrates the homecoming of birds from winter migration. Ghughutiya, also known as “काले क़ौवा” (literally translated as black crow) is celebrated with sweet treats “घुघते”.

Prepping for Ghughute entails kneading wheat flour into dough mixing it with jaggery using milk or ghee.

For ‘घुघुतिया त्यौहार’ sweet dough is used to make small treats in various shapes like pomegranate flowers, swords, spirals, damru etc. These shapes are deep fried in oil turning them in to beautiful deep orange sweet treats for children.
These shapes are then strung into a garland decorated with local fruits, flowers, etc, for young children in the family. Early morning the next day, children climb up the roof tops and offer crows a portion from their garlands.

According to one of the local legends, there was once a king who had a minister named ghughutiya who planned to kill the king and usurp his kingdom. However, a crow warned the king of his minister’s intentions and saved the king’s life. The king punished his minister and asked the entire kingdom to prepare sweetmeats and delicacies to offer to the crow in respect of the aid it had given to him. Since then the festival has been celebrated in Kumaon. It is also believed that the offering to crows is indirectly an offering to the departed souls of one’s ancestors. After making the offering to the crows, the children happily wear the garlands around their necks, happily munching away, the entire day(source - local elders in our village)
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