Makar Sankranti is one of the most celebrated festivals across India. It is known as the festival of harvest and it falls in the month of Magha which according to the Gregorian calendar corresponds to January/ February. This festival is celebrated each year on the fourteenth of January and is believed to be highly auspicious according to the Hindu calendar. This is the time of the year when the Sun travels in the house of Saturn who is the Swami of Capricorn. Likewise, this day represents the significance of the wonderful relationship between a father and His son. It is accepted that on this day Lord Vishnu vanquished the devils and covered them under the Manadara Parvata, along these lines denoting the day as the triumph of good over insidiousness. Aside from this, this celebration holds special importance in the epic of Mahabharata. It so happened that during the war with Bhishma Pitamaha, Arjuna’s arrow harmed Bhishma Pitamaha. Despite taking further action, he (Arjuna) decided to wait for the Uttarayan to set in with the goal that he would get salvation and free himself from the cycle of being born again.
Did you know that every month the Sun transits from one zodiac to the other thus, there is a Sankranti that falls in each month? Yes, you read that right there is a Sankranti that falls in every calendar month. Moreover, the Makar Sankrant is the only Indian Hindu festival that in one calendar year falls on the same date? Yes, every year the festival of Makar Sankranti falls on January 14. Let us now take a look at how Makar Sankranti is celebrated across the country
The celebration of Makar Sankranti is additionally given due significance in the community of the Sikh people group as the 10th Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh got Moksha (salvation) for fourteen Sikhs. This celebration is commended with incredible energy and eagerness in the conditions of Karnataka, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh. Other than this, Makar Sankranti is likewise celebrated in different pieces of the nation and is known by various names viz. Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Bihu in Assam, Bhogi in Andhra Pradesh, and Uttarayan in Gujarat.
The celebrations of Makar Sankranti are observed in great fervor all across the nation. The methods of celebrating this festival differ in various manners and the social noteworthiness of the celebration shifts topographically as we move starting with one state then onto the next, with each state celebrating and inviting the new period of harvest in their indigenous way.
What makes the celebration stand separated from the other Indian Hindu Festivals is the way that the date of Makar Sankranti is fixed. Makar implies Capricorn and Sankranti refer to change. “Makar Sankranti” is the primary Indian celebration that falls on the New Year.
According to the Hindu calendar, the festival of Makar Sankranti is believed to be highly auspicious. Across India, individuals the festivities of this festival are performed on a grand scale where family and friends gather and celebrate this festival with extraordinary happiness and eagerness. Every Hindu festival has a set of rituals that every Hindu individual follows. Just like the other festivals during Makar Sankranti people wake up early in the morning before dawn and cleanse their bodies by taking a shower. They also visit temples and revere God by offering prayers and asking God to bless and safeguard their` entire family. Makar Sankranti is celebrated in various states with various states and areas of India. In Haryana and Punjab, it is prominently called ‘Lohri’, in South India, it is called ‘Pongal’, in Bihar it is called ‘Khichdi’ and ‘Bihu’ in Assam. Be that as it may, in Gujurat, during this favorable day, the family kite-flying celebration happens where families and companions get along on the patio of their particular houses to contend in skimming kites with neighbors and family members.
Celebrations of Makar Sankranti in Odisha
In Odisha, people celebrate Makar Sankranti by following the age-old tradition that has been practiced even today. Individuals cook Makara chaula or uncooked recently reaped rice, banana, coconut, jaggery, sesame, rasagola, Khai/Liaa, and chhena puddings as naivedya to offer to the deities. The change in the season leads to changes in the eating habitat to a more nourishing diet. The customs and the way this festival is celebrated in Odisha holds a rich tradition as mentioned above. People visit the Konark temple to revere and worship the Sun God as the sun begins its yearly swing northwards. According to different Hindu calendars, the Sun’s development changes, and the days from this day onwards become lengthier and hotter thus the Sun-God is revered on this day as an incredible supporter. Numerous people toward the beginning of the day play out a custom shower while fasting.
Other than the standard customs, individuals of Odisha, particularly Western Orissa, reaffirm the strength of their relationship with their closest companions during this event. This particular practice is called the ‘Makar Basiba’. Sankranti is celebrated on a large scale in Odisha by both Anarya and Arya, i.e., by Adivasi (Tribal rank) and general. In the locale of Mayurbhanj, Sundargarh, and Keonjhar where the ancestral network compensates for more than 40% of its populace; the party is praised with extraordinary enthusiasm and joy. They move and sing, and relish life for about seven days. The Bhuya (clans) groups of Orissa have their Maghyatra in which small scale home-made things are set available to be purchased. Customary Food: Dhanu-Maun
Celebrations of Makar Sankranti in Punjab
In Punjab, Makar Sankranti is also known as Maghi. Taking a holy dip in the river bodies in the early hours especially at dawn on Maghi is a significant practice which is observed for ages. Diyas are lit with sesame oil as a sign of inviting prosperity and abundance in life. The lighting of the lamps is also known to drive away all the negativity and dark forces. A significant fun-fare (mela) is held at Sri Muktsar Sahib on Maghi which honors a recorded occasion in Sikh history. Socially, individuals dance on their traditional dance form which is “bhangra”. Family and friends gather together to eat the luxurious food that is exceptionally ready for the event. It is customary to eat “kheer”, rice cooked in milk and sugarcane juice. It is likewise conventional to devour khichdi and jaggery. December and January are the coldest months of the year in Punjab. Maghi speaks to the difference in the season to hotter temperatures and expansion in light. Lohri and Maghi, Punjab Lohri is seen to mean the remainder of the coolest long stretches of winter. Other than Punjab, individuals from other Northern Indian states (Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu ) become caught up with getting ready for the celebration. Customary Food: Gajak and Rewri
Celebrations in Delhi and Haryana
Delhi and Haryana and many neighboring states think about Sakraat or Sankranti to be a fundamental celebration of the year. Churma of ghee, halwa, and kheer are cooked on this day and these are the standard delicacies that are prepared on this day. One sibling of each wedded lady visits her home with an endowment of some comfortable apparel for her and her better half’s family. It is known as “Sidha”. The married women thus offer beautiful gifts and present to their parents in law, and this ceremony is called “Manana”. The one who receives all the wonderful presents is often seated in a haweli (bungalow where men sit together and share hooka). Ladies go to haweli to sing society tunes and give blessings.
Celebrations in Andhra Pradesh
The celebrations of Makar Sankranti in Andhra Pradesh are observed for four-days. This festival is known as Bhogi in Andhra Pradesh. During this time people discard the old things they have in a bonfire. This fire represents Lord Shiva. People then move around it in a circle singing folk songs. During this period as mentioned above people discard old things in order to purchase new things and fill the house with positivity and abundance. The first day of this festival is known as Bhogi, the second day is celebrated as Makar Sankranti, the third day is called Kanuma where offering food to cattle’s is a mandatory ritual and the fourth day is called the Mukkanuma. On this day kites, flying can be witnessed throughout the town and also racing competition of the bullocks. On this favorable day, individuals wear new stylish garments, embellish the house, paint rangolis, and get ready Pongal; made of rice, milk, and jaggery. Cattles are respected and venerated for their contribution to the produce. Conventional Food: Ariselu
Celebrations in Uttar Pradesh
The celebration is known as Kicheri in Uttar Pradesh and includes custom washing. More than 2,000,000 individuals accumulate at their separate consecrated spots for this sacred washing, for example, Allahabad and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and Haridwar in Uttarakhand. If they can’t go to the waterway, at that point they wash at home. There is an impulse to wash toward the beginning of the day while fasting; first, they wash then they eat desserts, for example, until ladoo and gud laddo (known as tillava in Bhojpuri). At certain spots, new garments are worn on this day.
Kite flying is an unavoidable piece of the celebration in Uttar Pradesh,as with numerous conditions of India, for example, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Like different spots in India, the references to desserts, until (sesame seeds) and gud (jaggery) are found in the tunes sung on this day.
Celebrations in Gujrat
In the state of Gujrat, the festival of Makara Sankranti is known as Uttarayan. It is the most significant festival of the state of Gujrat which is celebrated in great fervour for two whole days. 14 January is Uttarayan and 15 January is Vasi-Uttarayan (Stale Uttarayan). Gujarati individuals distinctly anticipate this celebration to fly kites, called ‘patang’. Kites for Uttarayan are made of exceptional light-weight paper and bamboo and are generally rhombus formed with focal spine and a solitary bow. The string frequently contains abrasives to chop down others’ kites. In Gujarat, from December through to Makara Sankranti, individuals begin preparing nutritious food for Uttarayan. Undhiyu (a hot, heated blend of winter vegetables) and chikkis (produced using until (sesame seeds), peanuts and jaggery) are some of the delicious sweets that are relished during this period.
In the significant urban areas of Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, and Jamnagar the skies seem loaded up with heaps of kites as individuals appreciate two entire long periods of Uttarayan on their porches. At the point when individuals cut any kites, they shout words like “kaypo chhe”, “e lapet”, “phirki vet phirki” and “lapet” in Gujarati.
Celebrations in Maharashtra
In Maharashtra on Makara Sankranti day individuals offer each other colorful halwa (sugar granules covered in sugar syrup) and til gul laadoo (sweetmeats produced using sesame seeds and jaggery). Gulachi poli/puran poli) (level bread loaded down with delicate/destroyed jaggery blended in with toasted, ground until [white sesame seeds]) and some gram flour, which has been toasted to brilliant in unadulterated ghee, are offered for lunch. While trading until gul as badge of altruism individuals welcome each other with the words “तिळगुळ घ्या, आणि गोड-गोड बोला/til gul ghyaa, aani godh godh bolaa” signifying ‘Acknowledge this gul (sweet) and utter sweet words’. The hidden idea in the trading of til gul is to fail to remember the previous sick sentiments and threats and resolve to talk pleasantly and remain companions. The significance of sesame seeds is it keeps body warm and give great oil, which is required as winter evaporated the dampness from body.In Maharashtra, like Andhra Pradesh Makar Sankaranti, is ordinarily a three-day celebration.
Celebrations in Himachal Pradesh
The harvest season of Makar Sankranti is known as Magha Saaji in the Himachal Pradesh. Saaji is the Pahari word for Sakranti, beginning of the new month. Henceforth this day denotes the beginning of the period of Magha.
Individuals observe Magha Saaji with much pageantry and glory. Conventional Food: Khichdi with Ghee and Chaas. As per Hindu Scriptures, upon the arrival of Uttarayani the sun enters the zodiac indication of Makara (Capricon), i.e., from this day onwards the sun becomes ‘Uttarayan’ or it begins moving toward the north. It is said that from this day, which flags a difference in season, the transient feathered creatures begin getting back to the slopes. On Magha Saaja individuals get up promptly toward the beginning of the day and wash up in the springs or baolis. In the daytime individuals visit their neighbours and meal is relished together. The meal comprises of khichdi with ghee and chaas. Many individuals often do charity at temples by offering food to the needy.
Celebrations in Tamil Nadu
The festival of Makar Sankranti is celebrated as Pongal in Tamil Nadu. On this auspicious occasion striking rangolis are drawn outside the main entrance of the houses, temples and work places. Tasty food is prepared and people generally call their friends and extended families to join them for a family meal and to celebrate this festival in a traditional way. The house is cleaned and embellished, and mango leaves are hung at the primary way to adore the celebration. In addition, there are remarkable poojas to like the part of cows during the harvesting season. Customary Food: Murukku, Payasam
Celebrations in Assam
In Assam, the festival of Makar Sankranti is known as Bhogali Bihu or Magh Bihu. Bihu marks the start of the new reap season. Customary dance and pit fires mark the occasion. Services additionally highlight well-known Assamese games, for example, wild ox battling and Tekeli Bhonga. Customary Food: Til Pitha and Laru
Celebrations in Karnataka
Makara Sankramana, Karnataka Sankranti or Makara Sankramana is a significant celebration for ranchers of Karnataka. Makara Sankramana includes respecting the divine beings for a decent yield, wearing shiny new garments, and painting new rangolis. The feature is the combination of Ellu-Bella; it is a hodgepodge of jaggery, singed groundnut, dry coconut, and white sesame, which is disseminated among the nearby neighbor. Alongside this, ladies additionally share bananas, bits of sugarcane, Haldi and Kum. Conventional petitions are offered to bovines, and afterward they are taken on a celebratory walk. Customary Food: Ellu Bella
Rajasthan and West Madhya Pradesh
“Makar Sankrati” or “Sankrat” in the Rajasthani language is one of the significant celebrations in the province of Rajasthan. The day is commended with extraordinary Rajasthani rarities and desserts, for example, pheeni (either with sweet milk or sugar syrup plunged), until paati, gajak, kheer, ghevar, pakodi, puwa, and until laddoo.
Extraordinarily, the ladies of this area notice a custom wherein they give any sort of article (identified with a family unit, make-up, or food) to 13 wedded ladies. The primary Sankranti experienced by a wedded lady is of criticalness as she is welcomed by her folks and siblings to their homes with her significant other for a major banquet. Individuals welcome companions and family members (extraordinarily their sisters and little girls) to their home for exceptional celebration suppers (called as “Sankrant Bhoj”). Individuals give out numerous sort of little blessings, for example, until gud (jaggery), organic products, dry khichadi, and so on to Brahmins or the destitute ones.
Kite flying is generally seen as the most important event of this festival. On this event the sky in Jaipur and Hadoti areas is loaded up with kites, and adolescents participate in challenges attempting to cut each other’s strings
This is how the festival of Makar Sankranti is celebrated in various states in various methods.