Makar Sankranthi Celebrations throughout India - Fusion

Makar Sankranthi Celebrations throughout India

Makar Sankranthi

Makar Sankranthi is celebrated in India when the sun enters the zodiac sign of Makara rashi. The sun journeys northward. From this day, days start lengthening in the northern hemisphere.

Makar Sankranthi is also called as Pongal which is celebrated with great joy since this is the first festival in the New Year. This festival is also known as harvest festival and usually falls from 13 to 15 January. Cattle and cows are worshiped on this festival. Kite flying is common in many parts of the country during this festival.

Makar Sankranthi is celebrated throughout India in different ways. Telugu people celebrate this as a three-day festival. Bhogi, Sankranthi and Kanuma are celebrated in three days. People make traditional sweets on this day especially with new harvest such as new rice, jaggery etc. In Tamil Nadu it is popular by the name ‘Pongal’, a sweet made with rice and milk.

In Kerala, it is a big festival too. The devotees of Ayyappan journey to Sabarimala to reach on this day. Makara Jyothi is visible on this day which is believed by devotees that it is Lord Ayyappan himself asserted to bless them.

In Karnataka, young girls wear new clothes and perform ‘Ellu Birodhu’ in which a mixture of sesame seed and fried groundnuts, finely chopped dry coconut and jaggery are offered to relatives. Newly married women give bananas to older women married for a period of five years.

In Delhi, it is one of the major festivals. They prepare Halwa on this day. Women give gifts to their in-laws. Married women are given clothes by her brother. Sankranthi is called ‘Khichiri’ in Uttara Pradesh. Ritual bathing – taking a dip in holy rivers is considered auspicious – is common.

In Maharashtra, people exchange sweets made with sesame seeds and jaggery. Married women are given ‘Haldi-Kumkum’ and household utensils as gifts in get-togethers. In Gujarat, people exchange gifts with their relatives. Usually younger members of the family are given gifts by elders of the family.

In Assam, it is celebrated as Bhogali Bihu. People sing songs, exchange sweets and greetings with one another. Sankranthi is celebrated as ‘Lohri’ and ‘Maghi’ in Punjab. Lohri is the eve of Sankranthi on which bonfires are lit and sweets, rice, sugarcanes are thrown in this. They dance their traditional Bhangra dance till they get exhausted. After that they eat traditional foods and sweets specially made for this occasion.

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