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v t e

Makar Sankranti, also known as Makara Sankrānti (Sanskrit: मकर सङ्क्रान्ति) or Maghi, is a festival day in the Hindu
Hindu
calendar, in reference to deity Surya
Surya
(sun). It is observed each year in January.[3][4] It marks the first day of sun's transit into the Makara (Capricorn), marking the end of the month with the winter solstice and the start of longer days.[3][5] Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
is one of the few ancient Indian festivals that has been observed according to solar cycles, while most festivals are set by the lunar cycle of the lunisolar Hindu
Hindu
calendar.[5] Being a festival that celebrates the solar cycle, it almost always falls on the same Gregorian date every year (January 14),[4] except in some years when the date shifts by a day for that year.[6] The festivities associated with Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
are known by various names such as Maghi
Maghi
(preceded by Lohri) by north Indian Hindus and Sikhs, Makara Sankranti
Sankranti
(Pedda Pandaga) in Karnataka
Karnataka
and Andhra Pradesh, Sukarat in central India, Magh Bihu
Magh Bihu
by Assamese, and Pongal
Pongal
by Tamils.[7][8] Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
is observed with social festivities such as colorful decorations, rural children going house to house, singing and asking for treats in some areas (or pocket money),[9] melas (fairs), dances, kite flying, bonfires and feasts.[8][10] The Magha Mela, according to Diana L. Eck (professor at Harvard University specializing in Indology), is mentioned in the Hindu
Hindu
epic (the Mahabharata), thus placing this festival to be around 5,000 years old.[11] Many go to sacred rivers or lakes and bathe with thanksgiving to the sun.[11] Every twelve years, the Hindus observe Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
with one of the world's largest mass pilgrimage, with an estimated 40 to 100 million people attending the event.[11][12][13] At this event, they say a prayer to the sun and bathe at the Prayaga confluence of the River Ganga and River Yamuna at the Kumbha Mela,[11] a tradition attributed to Adi Shankaracharya.[14]

Contents

1 Date 2 Significance 3 Nomenclature and regional names 4 Regional variations

4.1 Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
and Telangana 4.2 Assam 4.3 Bihar
Bihar
and Jharkhand 4.4 Delhi and Haryana 4.5 Goa 4.6 Gujarat 4.7 Himachal Pradesh 4.8 Karnataka(ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ) 4.9 Kerala 4.10 Uttarakhand 4.11 Maharashtra 4.12 Odisha 4.13 Punjab 4.14 Rajasthan
Rajasthan
and Malwa (Western Madhya Pradesh) 4.15 Tamil Nadu 4.16 Uttar Pradesh 4.17 West Bengal

5 Outside India

5.1 Bangladesh 5.2 Nepal 5.3 Pakistan
Pakistan
(Sindh) 5.4 Sri Lanka

6 See also 7 References 8 External links

Date[edit]

Winter
Winter
Solstice

Makara Sankranti
Sankranti
is set by the solar cycle of the Hindu
Hindu
lunisolar calendar, and is observed on a day which usually falls on 14 January of Gregorian calendar, but sometimes 15 January.[3][4][15] It signifies the arrival of longer days. Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
falls in the Hindu
Hindu
calendar solar month of Makara, and lunar month of Magha (the festival is also called Magha Sankranti
Sankranti
or Magha festival in parts of India).[16] It marks the end of the month with winter solstice for India
India
and the longest night of the year, a month that is called Pausha in lunar calendar and Dhanu in the solar calendar in the Vikrami system. The festival celebrates the first month with consistently longer days.[3] There are two different systems to calculate the Makara Sankranti date: nirayana (without adjusting for precession of equinoxes, sidereal) and sayana (with adjustment, tropical). The January 14 date is based on the nirayana system, while the sayana system typically computes to about December 23, per most Siddhanta texts for Hindu calendars.[17][18][19] Significance[edit] The festival is dedicated to the Hindu
Hindu
sun god, Surya.[4][20] This significance of Surya
Surya
is traceable to the Vedic texts, particularly the Gayatri Mantra, a sacred hymn of Hinduism
Hinduism
found in its scripture named the Rigveda. The festival also marks the beginning of a six months auspicious period for Hindus known as Uttarayana
Uttarayana
period.[4] Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
is regarded as important for spiritual practices and accordingly, people take a holy dip in rivers, especially Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Krishna
Krishna
and Kaveri. The bathing is believed to result in merit or absolution of past sins. They also pray to the sun and thank for their successes and prosperity.[21] A shared cultural practices found amongst Hindus of various parts of India
India
is making sticky, bound sweets particularly from sesame (til) and a sugar base such as jaggery (gud, gur). This type of sweet is a symbolism for being together in peace and joyfulness, despite the uniqueness and differences between individuals.[4] For most parts of India, this period is a part of early stages of the Rabi crop and agricultural cycle, where crops have been sown and the hard work in the fields is mostly over. The time thus signifies a period of socializing and families enjoying each other's company, taking care of the cattle, and celebrating around bonfires, in Maharashtra
Maharashtra
the festival is celebrated by flying kites.[4] Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
is an important pan-Indian solar festival, known by different names though observed on the same date, sometimes for multiple dates around the Makar Sankranti. It is known as Makara Sankranti
Sankranti
in Karnataka, Pongal
Pongal
in Tamil Nadu, Pedda Panduga in Andhra Pradesh, Magh Bihu
Magh Bihu
in Assam, Magha Mela
Mela
in parts of central and north India, as Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
in the west, and by other names.[4] Nomenclature and regional names[edit]

A night lit up on Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
Uttarayana
Uttarayana
Festival with Kites and Lights.

Makara or Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
is celebrated in many parts of Indian subcontinent with some regional variations. It is known by different names and celebrated with different customs in different parts of the region:

Suggi Habba, Makara Sankramana, Makara Sankranthi : Karnataka Makara Sankranthi: Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala Makar Sankranti: Chhattisgarh, Goa, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal
West Bengal
and Jammu Thai Pongal, Uzhavar Thirunal: Tamil Nadu Uttarayan: Gujarat Maghi: Haryana, Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh
and Punjab. Magh Bihu
Magh Bihu
or Bhogali Bihu: Assam Shishur Saenkraat: Kashmir Valley[21] Khichdi: Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
and western Bihar Poush Sangkranti: West Bengal Tila Sakrait: Mithila

In other countries too the day is celebrated by Hindus, but under different names and in different ways.

Nepal: Maghe Sankranti
Maghe Sankranti
or Maghi- / Khichdi
Khichdi
Sankranti Bangladesh: Shakrain/ Poush Sangkranti Pakistan
Pakistan
(Sindh): Tirmoori

Regional variations[edit]

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It is celebrated differently across the Indian subcontinent. Many people take a dip in places like Ganga Sagar Prayag
Prayag
and pray to the Sun God (Surya). It is celebrated with pomp in southern parts of India as Sankranti
Sankranti
in Karnataka
Karnataka
( Pongal
Pongal
in Tamil Nadu), and in Punjab as Maghi.

Kite
Kite
flying is a tradition of Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
in many parts of India.

Many melas or fairs are held on Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
the most famous being the Kumbha Mela, held every 12 years at one of four holy locations, namely Haridwar, Prayag
Prayag
(Allahabad), Ujjain
Ujjain
and Nashik. The Magha Mela (or mini-Kumbh Mela
Mela
held annually at Prayag) and the Gangasagar
Gangasagar
Mela (held at the head of the Ganges River, where it flows into the Bay of Bengal). Makar Mela
Mela
in Odisha. Tusu Mela
Mela
also called as Tusu Porab is celebrated in many parts of Jharkhand
Jharkhand
and West Bengal. Poush Mela
Mela
is an annual fair and festival that takes place in Santiniketan, in Birbhum District
Birbhum District
of West Bengal. Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
and Telangana[edit] The festival, Sankranti
Sankranti
(మకర సంక్రాంతి), is celebrated for four days in Andhra Pradesh[22] and Telangana:

Day 1 – Bhoghi (భోగి) (Andhra Pradesh, Telangana
Telangana
and Karnataka
Karnataka
) Day 2 – Makara Sankranti
Sankranti
(మకర సంక్రాంతి-పెద్ద పండుగ), the main festival day Day 3 – Kanuma (కనుమ) ( Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
and Telangana) Day 4 — Mukkanuma ( Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
and Telangana)

Bhogi(భోగి)

Special
Special
bhojanam (feast) are a part of Andhra tradition (Andhra Pradesh and Telangana
Telangana
states)

Bhogi Flames in Andhra Pradesh

The day preceding Makara Sankranti
Sankranti
is called Bhoghi (భోగి). This is when people discard old and derelict things and concentrate on new things causing change or transformation. At dawn, people light a bonfire[21] with logs of wood, other solid fuels and wooden furniture that are no longer useful.

Makara Sankranti(మకర సంక్రాంతి)

Decorated Pot

The second day is Makara Sankranti. People wear new clothes, pray to God, and make offerings of traditional food to ancestors who have died. They also make beautiful and ornate drawings and patterns on the ground with chalk or flour, called "Rangoli" or "muggu" in Telugu, in front of their homes. These drawings are decorated with flowers, colours and small, hand-pressed piles of cow dung, called "gobbemma" (గొబ్బెమ్మ). For this festival all families prepare Chakinalu, Nuvvula Appalu, Gare Appalu or Katte Appalu or karam appalu, Madugulu (Jantikalu), Bellam Appalu, kudumulu, Ariselu, Appalu (a sweet made of jaggery and rice flour) dappalam (a dish made with pumpkin and other vegetables) and make an offering to God.

Colorful floor artwork (muggulu) decorate entrances and streets on Makar Sankranti

On the third day, Kanuma (కనుమ) is celebrated. Kanuma is very intimate to the hearts of farmers because it is the day for praying and showcasing their cattle with honor. Cattle are the symbolic indication of prosperity. On the day after Makara Sankranti, the animal kingdom is remembered and, in particular, cows. Girls feed the animals, birds and fish as a symbol of sharing.

Mukkanuma

The fourth day is called Mukkanuma (ముక్కనుమ) which is popular among the non-vegetarians of the society. On this day, farmers offer prayers to the elements (like soil, rain, fire for helping the harvest) and the (village) goddesses with their gifts which sometimes (and these days mainly) include animals. People in Telangana
Telangana
and Coastal Andhra do not eat any meat (or fish) during the first three days of the festival and do so only on the day of Mukkanuma. Kanuma, Mukkanuma and the day following Mukkanuma call for celebrations with union of families, friends, relatives. People play with kites and the sky is filled with beautiful kites. Another notable feature of the festival in Telangana
Telangana
and Andhra Pradesh is the Haridasu who goes early in the morning around with a colourfully dressed cow, singing songs of Lord Vishnu
Vishnu
(Hari) hence the name Haridasu (servant of Hari). It is a custom that he should not talk to anyone and only sing songs of Lord Vishnu
Vishnu
when he goes to everyone's house. Assam[edit]

A Buffalo fight held at Ranthali, in Nagaon District of Assam, on the occasion of Magh bihu.

Magh Bihu
Magh Bihu
(মাঘ বিহু) (also called Bhogali Bihu (ভোগালী বিহু) ( Bihu
Bihu
of eating foods and enjoyment) or Maghar Domahi (মাঘৰ দোমাহী) is a harvest festival celebrated in Assam, India, which marks the end of harvesting season in the month of Maagha (January–February).[23] It is the Assam
Assam
celebration of Makar Sankranti, with feasting lasting for a week.[24] The festival is marked by feasts and bonfires.[25] Young people erect makeshift huts, known as Meji and Bhelaghar, from bamboo, leaves and thatch, and in Bhelaghar they eat the food prepared for the feast, and then burn the huts the next morning.[26] The celebrations also feature traditional Assamese games such as tekeli bhonga (pot-breaking) and buffalo fighting.[27] Magh Bihu
Magh Bihu
celebrations start on the last day of the previous month, the month of "Pooh", usually the 29th of Pooh and usually the 14th of January, and is the only day of Magh Bihu
Magh Bihu
in modern times (earlier, the festival would last for the whole month of Magh, and so the name Magh Bihu).[28] The night before is "Uruka" (28th of Pooh), when people gather around a bonfire, cook dinner, and make merry. During Magh Bihu
Magh Bihu
people of Assam
Assam
make cakes of rice with various names such as Shunga Pitha, Til Pitha
Pitha
etc. and some other sweets of coconut called Laru or Laskara. Bihar
Bihar
and Jharkhand[edit]

A traditional sweet sesame-jaggery based ladoo exchanged and eaten on Makar Sankranti.

In Bihar
Bihar
and Jharkhand, the festival is celebrated on 14–15 January. On 14 January, it is celebrated as Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
or Sakraat or Khichdi
Khichdi
(in local dialects). As in other parts of country, people take baths in rivers and ponds and feast upon seasonal delicacies as a celebration of good harvest. The delicacies include chura, gur (jaggery), sweets made of til (sesame seeds) such as tilgul, tilwa, maska, etc., curd, milk and seasonal vegetables. Kite
Kite
flying festivals are organised, albeit on a small scale. On 15 January, it is celebrated as Makraat (in some parts of the state) when people relish special khichdi (dal-rice replete with cauliflower, peas and potatoes). The festival is one of the most important. People start their day by worshiping and putting til (sesame seeds) into fire followed by eating "dahi-chuda", a dish made of beaten rice (chuda or poha, in Hindi, or avalakki, in Kannada) served with a larger serving of dahi (curd), with cooked kohada (red pumpkin) that is prepared specially with sugar and salt but no water. The meal is generally accompanied by tilkut and lai (laddu made of til, chuda and rice). The festive meal is traditionally made by women in groups. Since the meal is heavy, lunch is generally skipped on the day and the time is, instead, spent on socializing and participating in kite flying festivals. At night a special khichdi is made and served with its four traditional companions, "char yaar" (four friends) — chokha (roasted vegetable), papad, ghee and achaar. Since such a rich khichdi is generally made on this festival, the festival is often colloquially referred to as "Khichdi". Delhi and Haryana[edit] Kayastha community which have been building blocks of Delhi today and Other neighbouring rural communities like Yadavs, Jats which mainly belong to Haryana
Haryana
and Punjab consider Sakraat or Sankranti
Sankranti
to be a main festival of the year. Churma of ghee, halwa and kheer are cooked specially in Jats and Yadavs homes on this day. One brother of every married woman visits her home with a gift of some warm clothing for her and her husband's family. It is called "Sidha". Women used to give a gift to their in-laws, and this rituals called "Manana". The recipient will sit in a haweli (main palace where men sit together and share hookka). Women go to haweli to sing folk songs and give gifts. Goa[edit] Known as Sankrant in Goa
Goa
and like in the rest of the country, people distribute sweets in the form of granules of sugar-coated till pulses among family members and friends, with the words,Till gull gheiat, godd uloiat, meaning Eat seasame and jaggery and sweeten your talk. 12-day Haldi Kumkum
Kumkum
festival begins on Makar Sankranti,married women celebrate the festival till Ratha Saptami.Married women visit each other's homes where the women apply Halad(turmeric) and Kumkum (vermilion) to the foreheads of other women and put flowers in their hair,and offer them household gifts. Newly married women offer five sunghat or small clay pots with black beaded threads tied around them,to the deity. These pots are filled with newly harvested food grains and are offered with betel leaves and areca nut.[29] Its observance takes place on a rather subdued note,unlike major festivals of the region like Ganesh chaturthi. Gujarat[edit] Main article: International Kite
Kite
Festival in Gujarat
Gujarat
– Uttarayan Uttarayan, as Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
is called in Gujarati, is a major festival in the state of Gujarat[30] which lasts for two days.

14 January is Uttarayan 15 January is Vasi- Uttarayan
Uttarayan
(Stale Uttarayan).[31]

Gujarati people keenly await this festival to fly kites, called 'patang'. Kites for Uttarayan
Uttarayan
are made of special light-weight paper and bamboo and are mostly rhombus shaped with central spine and a single bow. The string often contains abrasives to cut down other people's kites. In Gujarat, from December through to Makar Sankranti, people start enjoying Uttarayan. Undhiyu
Undhiyu
(spicy, baked mix of winter vegetables) and chikkis (made from til (sesame seeds), peanuts and jaggery) are the special festival recipes savoured on this day. The Hindu
Hindu
Sindhi community in western regions of India, that is also found in southeastern parts of Pakistan, celebrate Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
as Tirmoori. On this day, parents sending sweet dishes to their daughters.[32] In the major cities of Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, and Jamnagar the skies appear filled with thousands upon thousands of kites as people enjoy two full days of Uttarayan
Uttarayan
on their terraces. When people cut any kites they yell words like "kaypo chhe", "e lapet","jaay jaay","phirki vet phirki" and "lapet lapet" in Gujarati. Himachal Pradesh[edit] In Shimla District of Himachal Pradesh, Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
is known as Magha Saaji. Saaji is the Pahari word for Sakranti, start of the new month. Hence this day marks the start of the month of Magha. According to Hindu
Hindu
religious texts, on the day of Uttarayani the sun enters the zodiac sign of Makara (Capricorn), i.e., from this day onwards the sun becomes 'Uttarayan' or it starts moving to the north. It is said that from this day, which signals a change of season, the migratory birds start returning to the hills. On Magha Saaja people wake up early in the morning and take ceremonial dips and shower in the springs or baolis. In the daytime people visit their neighbours and together enjoy khichdi with ghee and chaas and give it in charity at temples. Festival culminates with singing and Naati (folk dance). Karnataka(ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ )[edit]

Mysuru Decorated Cows. January 2017

This is the Suggi (ಸುಗ್ಗಿ) or harvest festival for farmers of Karnataka. On this auspicious day, girls wear new clothes to visit near and dear ones with a Sankranti
Sankranti
offering in a plate and exchange the same with other families. This ritual is called "Ellu Birodhu." Here the plate would normally contain "Ellu" (white sesame seeds) mixed with fried groundnuts, neatly cut dry coconut and fine cut bella (jaggery). The mixture is called "Ellu-Bella" (ಎಳ್ಳು ಬೆಲ್ಲ). The plate contains shaped sugar candy moulds (Sakkare Acchu, ಸಕ್ಕರೆ ಅಚ್ಚು) with a piece of sugarcane. There is a saying in Kannada "ellu bella thindu olle maathadi" that translates to 'eat the mixture of sesame seeds and jaggery and speak only good.' This festival signifies the harvest of the season, since sugarcane is predominant in these parts. Ellu Bella, Ellu Unde, bananas, sugarcane, red berries, haldi and kumkum and small gift items useful in everyday lives are often exchanged among women in Karnataka.

Feast of Makar Sankranti

In some parts of Karnataka, a newly married woman is required to give away bananas for five years to married women (muthaidhe/sumangali) from the first year of her marriage and increase the number of bananas in multiples of five. There is also a tradition of some households giving away red berries "Yalchi Kai" with the above. In north Karnataka, kite flying with community members is a tradition. Drawing rangoli in groups is another popular event among women during Sankranti. An important ritual is display of cows and bulls in colourful costumes in an open field. Cows are decorated for the occasion and taken on a procession. They are also made to cross a fire. This ritual is common in rural Karnataka
Karnataka
and is called "Kichchu Haayisuvudu." Kerala[edit] Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
is celebrated in Kerala
Kerala
at Sabarimala
Sabarimala
where the Makara Jyothi is visible followed by the Makaravilakku
Makaravilakku
celebrations. Uttarakhand[edit] In the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
is celebrated with great gusto. The Uttarayani fair is held in the month of January every year in Bageshwar[33][34] The religious ritual of the fair consists in bathing before daybreak at the confluence of Saryu and Gomati.[35][36] After Bathing, an offering of water to Lord Shiva inside the Bagnath Temple
Bagnath Temple
is essential.[35] Those who are more religiously disposed, continue this practice for three days in succession, which is known as "Trimaghi".[35] According to Indian religious texts, on the day of Uttarayani also called Ghughuti (घुघुति) in Kumaon, the sun enters the Zodiacal sign of 'Makara' (Capricon), i.e. from this day onwards the sun becomes 'Uttarayan' or it starts moving to the north. It is said that from this day, which signals a change of season, the migratory birds start returning to the hills. On Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
people give Khichadi (a mixture of pulses and rice) in charity, take ceremonial dips in holy rivers, participate in the Uttarayani fairs and celebrate the festival of Ghughutia or Kale Kauva. During the festival of Kale Kauva (literal translation 'black crow') people make sweetmeats out of sweetened flour (flour and gur) deep fried in ghee, shape them in shapes such as drums, pomegranates, knives, and swords. These are fed to crows and other birds. Maharashtra[edit]

Multicolored sugar halwa surrounded by til-gul (sesame and jaggery) ladoos. These exchanged and eaten on Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
in Maharashtra

In Maharashtra
Maharashtra
on Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
(मकर संक्रान्ति) day people exchange multicoloured halwa (sugar granules coated in sugar syrup) and til-gul laadoo (sweetmeats made from sesame seeds and jaggery). Gulachi poli/puran poli (गुळाची पोळी / पुरण पोळी) (flat bread stuffed with soft/shredded jaggery mixed with toasted, ground til [white sesame seeds]) and some gram flour, which has been toasted to golden in pure ghee, are offered for lunch. While exchanging til-gul as tokens of goodwill people greet each other with the words "तिळगुळ घ्या, आणि गोड-गोड बोला / til-gul ghyaa, aani goad-goad bolaa" meaning ‘Accept this til-gul (sweet) and utter sweet words’. The underlying thought in the exchange of til-gul is to forget the past ill-feelings and hostilities and resolve to speak sweetly and remain friends. Odisha[edit] The festival is known as Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
in Odisha[37] where people prepare makar chaula (Odia: ମକର ଚାଉଳ): uncooked newly harvested rice, banana, coconut, jaggery, sesame, rasagola, Khai/Liaa and chhena puddings for naivedya to gods and goddesses. The withdrawing winter entails a change in food habits and intake of nourishing and rich food. Therefore, this festival holds traditional cultural significance. It is astronomically important for devotees who worship the sun god at the great Konark temple with fervour and enthusiasm as the sun starts its annual swing northwards.[38] According to various Indian calendars, the Sun's movement changes and the days from this day onwards become lengthier and warmer and so the Sun-God is worshiped on this day as a great benefactor. Many individuals at the start of the day perform a ritual bath while fasting.[38] Makar Mela
Mela
(Fun fair) is observed at Dhabaleswar in Cuttack, Hatakeshwar at Atri
Atri
in Khordha, Makara Muni temple in Balasore
Balasore
and near deities in each district of Odisha. In Puri
Puri
special rituals are carried out at the temple of Lord Jagannath.[38] In Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Kalahandi, Koraput and Sundargarh where the tribal population is greater, the festival is celebrated with great joy. They celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm, singing, dancing and generally having an enjoyable time. This Makara Sankranti celebration is next to the Odia traditional new year Maha Vishuva Sankranti
Sankranti
which falls in mid April. Tribal groups celebrate with traditional dancing, eating their particular dishes sitting together, and by lighting bonfires. It is the only Indian festival celebrated on a fixed day of the Gregorian calendar. Besides the usual rituals, people of Orissa, especially Western Orissa, reaffirm the strength of the bond of friendship with their best friends during this occasion. The practice is called ‘Makar Basma’. After a man binds himself with one of his friends in the shackles of friendship during Makar Sankranti, afterwards he addresses the other as ‘Maharshad’ or ‘Marsad’; if two women tie the friendship lace on each other’s wrist, they call each other ‘Makara’. They don’t utter each other’s name. This goes on for one full year till the next Makar Sankranti. In Eastern Orissa, on many occasions, two friends feed each other ‘Mahaprasad’, the offering made in the famous Jagannath
Jagannath
temple of Puri, and continue the friendship for at least one year. Orissa Post talks to some women about their experiences when they tied the friendship knot on Makar Sankranti. Punjab[edit] Main article: Maghi

Mela

In Punjab, Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
is celebrated as Maghi
Maghi
which is a religious and cultural festival. Bathing in a river in the early hours on Maghi is important. Hindus light lamps with sesame oil as this is supposed to give prosperity and drive away all sins. A major mela is held at Sri Muktsar Sahib
Sri Muktsar Sahib
on Maghi
Maghi
which commemorates a historical event in Sikh history. Culturally, people dance their famous "bhangra". They then sit down and eat the sumptuous food that is specially prepared for the occasion. It is traditional to eat "kheer", rice cooked in milk and sugarcane juice. It is also traditional to consume khichdi and jaggery. December and January are the coldest months of the year in the Punjab. Maghi
Maghi
represents the change of the season to warmer temperatures and increase in daylight. Maghi
Maghi
fairs are held in many places. Rajasthan
Rajasthan
and Malwa (Western Madhya Pradesh)[edit] "Makar Sankrati" or "Sankrat" in the Rajasthani language[39] is one of the major festivals in the state of Rajasthan. The day is celebrated with special Rajasthani delicacies and sweets such as pheeni (either with sweet milk or sugar syrup dipped), til-paati, gajak, kheer, ghevar, pakodi, puwa, and til-laddoo.[40] Specially, the women of this region observe a ritual in which they give any type of object (related to household, make-up or food) to 13 married women. The first Sankranti
Sankranti
experienced by a married woman is of significance as she is invited by her parents and brothers to their houses with her husband for a big feast. People invite friends and relatives (specially their sisters and daughters) to their home for special festival meals (called as "Sankrant Bhoj"). People give out many kind of small gifts such as til-gud (jaggery), fruits, dry khichadi, etc. to Brahmins or the needy ones. Kite
Kite
flying is traditionally observed as a part of this festival.[41] On this occasion the sky in Jaipur and Hadoti regions is filled with kites, and youngsters engage in contests trying to cut each other's strings.[41] Tamil Nadu[edit] Main article: Thai Pongal

The Tamil festival of Pongal
Pongal
coincides with Makar Sankranti, and celebrates Surya.

It is a four-day festival in Tamil Nadu:

Day 1: Bhogi Pandigai (போகி பண்டிகை) Day 2: Thai Pongal
Thai Pongal
(தை பொங்கல்) Day 3: Maattu Pongal
Pongal
(மாட்டுப் பொங்கல்) Day 4: Kaanum Pongal
Pongal
(காணும் பொங்கல்)

The festival is celebrated four days from the last day of the Tamil month Maargazhi to the third day of the Tamil month Thai.

Bhogi

The first day of festival is Bhogi (போகி). It is celebrated on the last day of Margazshi[42] by throwing away and destroying old clothes and materials, by setting them on fire, marking the end of the old and the emergence of the new. In villages there will be a simple ceremony of "Kappu Kattu" (kappu means secure) will be done. The 'neem' leaves are kept along the walls and roof of the houses. This is to eliminate evil forces.

Thai Pongal

A Tamil Hindu
Hindu
girl in traditional dress for Pongal.

The second day of festival is Thai Pongal
Thai Pongal
or simply Pongal. It is the main day of the festival, falling on the first day of the Tamil month Thai which starts with the solar cycle when sun starts moving through the summer solstice. It is celebrated by boiling rice with fresh milk and jaggery in new pots, which are later topped with brown sugar, cashew nuts and raisins early in the morning and allowing it to boil over the vessel. This tradition gives Pongal
Pongal
its name. The moment the rice boils over and bubbles out of the vessel, the tradition is to shout "பொங்கலோ பொங்கல் (Ponggalo Ponggal)!" and blow the sangu (a conch), a custom practised to announce it was going to be a year blessed with good tidings. Then new boiled rice is offered to the Sun god during sunrise, as a prayer which symbolises thanks to the sun for providing prosperity. It is later served to the people in the house for the ceremony. People prepare savouries and sweets such as vadai, murukku, payasam and visit each other and exchange greetings.

Maattu Pongal

Jallikattu, or "taming the bull", is an ancient Pongal
Pongal
tradition.

The third day of festival is Maattu Pongal
Pongal
(மாட்டுப் பொங்கல்). It is for offering thanks to cattle, as they help farmers in agriculture. On this day the cattle are decorated with paint, flowers and bells. They are allowed to roam free and fed sweet rice and sugar cane. Some people decorate the horns with gold or other metallic covers. In some places, Jallikattu, or taming the wild bull contest, is the main event of this day and this is mostly seen in the villages.

Kaanum Pongal

The fourth day of the festival is Kaanum Pongal
Pongal
(காணும் பொங்கல்: the word kaanum means "to view"). During this day people visit their relatives, friends to enjoy the festive season. It is a day to thank relatives and friends for their support in the harvest. It started as a farmers festival, called as Uzhavar Thirunaal in Tamil. Kolam
Kolam
(கோலம்) decorations are made in front of the house during Thai Pongal
Thai Pongal
festival. Uttar Pradesh[edit]

The Kumbh Mela
Mela
at Prayaga Sangam, the world's largest pilgrimage gathering every 12 years, is a Makar Sankranti-related event.[11]

The festival is known as Kicheri in Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
and involves ritual bathing.[43] Over two million people gather at their respective sacred places for this holy bathing such as Allahabad
Allahabad
and Varanasi
Varanasi
in Uttar Pradesh and Haridwar
Haridwar
in Uttarakhand.[44] If they cannot go in river then they bathe at home. There is a compulsion to bathe in the morning while fasting; first they bathe then they eat sweets such as til ladoo and gud laddo (known as tillava in Bhojpuri). At some places new clothes are worn on this day. Kite
Kite
flying is an inevitable part of the festival in Uttar Pradesh,[44] as with many states of India
India
such as Gujarat
Gujarat
and Maharashtra. Like other places in India, the references to sweets, til (sesame seeds) and gud (jaggery) are found in the songs sung on this day: Meethe Gur me mil gaya Til, Udi Patang aur khil gaye Dil, Jeevan me bani rahe Sukh aur Shanti, Mubarak ho aapko Makar-Sankranti. West Bengal[edit]

A feast at Poush Sankranti

In West Bengal, Sankranti, also known as Poush Sankranti[45] named after the Bengali month in which it falls (last date of that month), is celebrated as a harvest festival Poush Parbon (Bengali: পৌষ পার্বণ). (It falls on 14 January on the Western calendar.) The freshly harvested paddy and the date palm syrup in the form of Khejurer Gur (Bengali: খেজুরের গুড়)and Patali (Bengali: পাটালি ) is used in the preparation of a variety of traditional Bengali sweets made with rice flour, coconut, milk and 'khejurer gur' (date palm jaggery) and known as 'Pitha' (Bengali: পিঠে). All sections of society participate in a three-day festival that begins on the day before Sankranti
Sankranti
and ends on the day after. The Goddess Lakshmi
Lakshmi
is usually worshipped on the day of Sankranti. In the Himalayan regions of Darjeeling, the festival is as known as Magey Sakrati. It is distinctly associated with the worship of Lord Shiva. Traditionally, people bathe at sunrise and then commence their pooja. Elsewhere, many people take a dip in places like Ganga Sagar (the point where the river Ganges meets the Bay of Bengal).[46] Ganga Sagar falls in West Bengal. In the day of Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
Hindu
Hindu
God Dharma
Dharma
is worshiped. And khichurhi or rice is offered to the God as Bhog (ভোগ). The day after Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
the first day in the month Magh from Bengali calendar The Goddess Laxmi devi is worshiped. It is called Baharlaxmi Puja as the idol is worshiped in an open place. Outside India[edit]

The festival is known as Maghe Sakranti by Hindus in Nepal, and above is a traditional basket dance festivity to celebrate it.

Bangladesh[edit] Main article: Shakrain Shakrain
Shakrain
is an annual celebration of winter in Bangladesh, observed with the flying of kites.[47] Nepal[edit] Main article: Maghe Sankranti Maghe Sankranti
Maghe Sankranti
(Nepali and Maithili: माघे सङ्क्रान्ति, Nepal
Nepal
Bhasa: घ्यःचाकु संल्हु) is a Nepalese festival observed on the first of Magh in the Bikram Samwat
Bikram Samwat
Hindu
Hindu
Solar Nepali calendar (about 14 January), bringing an end to the ill-omened month of Poush when all religious ceremonies are forbidden. On this day, the sun is believed to leave its southernmost position and begin its northward journey. Maghe Sankranti
Maghe Sankranti
is observed by Nepalis Hindu
Hindu
by bathing at the confluence of rivers and praying to the sun.[48] The popular bathing sites include Sankhamul on the Bagmati river
Bagmati river
near Patan; in the Gandaki/Narayani river basin at Triveni near the Indian border; Devghat
Devghat
near Chitwan Valley and Ridi on the Kaligandaki; and in the Koshi River basin at Dolalghat on the Sun Koshi. On Maghe Sankranti Cha puja and on Bhadra Purnima, some Nepalis worship perform Nara puja for the community's protection from evil.[49] Festive foods like laddoo, ghee and sweet potatoes are distributed to relatives and friends. The mother of each household wishes good health to all family members. Pakistan
Pakistan
(Sindh)[edit] On this festive day, Sindhi parents send ladoos and chiki (Laaee) made of sesame seeds to their married daughters. The Sindhi community in India
India
too celebrate Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
as Tirmoori which involves parents sending sweet dishes to their daughters.[50] Sri Lanka[edit] On this day, the Sri Lanka Tamil farmers honor the Sun God Suriyapakaran. This happens when the sun enters the zodiac sign of Capricorn (Makara). The Thai Pongal
Thai Pongal
festival is celebrated in mid-January, or the Tamil month of Thai, to coincide with the rice harvest.[51] See also[edit]

Hindu
Hindu
festivals Uttarayana

References[edit]

^ Makar Sankranti, National Portal, Government of India ^ http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/confusion-over-sankranti-festival-date/article22432343.ece ^ a b c d Kamal Kumar Tumuluru (2015). Hindu
Hindu
Prayers, Gods and Festivals. Partridge. p. 30. ISBN 978-1-4828-4707-9.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Tumuluru2015p30" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). ^ a b c d e f g h J. Gordon Melton (2011). Religious Celebrations: An Encyclopedia of Holidays, Festivals, Solemn Observances, and Spiritual Commemorations. ABC-CLIO. pp. 547–548. ISBN 978-1-59884-205-0. , Quote: "Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
(January 14); Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
is a festival held across India, under a variety of names, to honor the god of the sun, Surya." ^ a b James G. Lochtefeld (2002). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: A - M. Rosen Publishing Group. p. 411. ISBN 978-0-8239-2287-1.  ^ Jain Chanchreek; K. L. Chanchreek; M. K. Jain (2007). Encyclopaedia of Great Festivals. Shree Publishers. pp. 36–38. ISBN 978-81-8329-191-0.  ^ After a 100 years, Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
gets a new date, The Hindustan Times (Jan 14, 2017) ^ a b Nikita Desai (2010). A Different Freedom: Kite
Kite
Flying in Western India; Culture and Tradition. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 30–33. ISBN 978-1-4438-2310-4.  ^ Kailash Puri; Eleanor Nesbitt (2013). Pool of Life: The Autobiography of a Panjabi Agony Aunt. Sussex Academic Press. pp. 34–35. ISBN 978-1-78284-067-1.  ^ Kapila
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Vatsyayan (1987). Traditions of Indian folk dance. Clarion Books. pp. 192–193. ISBN 978-0856552533.  ^ a b c d e Diana L. Eck (2013). India: A Sacred Geography. Random House. pp. 152–154. ISBN 978-0-385-53192-4.  ^ Kumbha Mela: The Largest Gathering on Earth, Alan Taylor, The Atlantic (January 14, 2013) ^ Biggest Gathering On Earth' Begins In India; Kumbha Mela
Kumbha Mela
May Draw 100 Million, Mark Memmott, NPR, Washington DC (January 14, 2013) ^ Roshan Dalal (2011), The Religions of India: A Concise Guide to Nine Major Faiths, Penguin, ISBN 978-0-14-341517-6, see Kumbh Mela entry ^ Bhavana Nair (1989). Our Leaders. Orient Longman. p. 65. ISBN 978-81-7011-678-3. , Quote: "One was at the famous Bageshwar
Bageshwar
fair held on Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
day on the banks of Sarayu on January 15, 1921."; M. Chalapathi Rau (1981). Govind Ballabh Pant, his life and times. Allied. p. 40.  ^ Karen Bellenir (1998). Religious Holidays and Calendars: An Encyclopedic Handbook. Omnigraphics. pp. 140–142. ISBN 978-0-7808-0258-2.  ^ Robert Sewell; Śaṅkara Bālakr̥shṇa Dīkshita. The Indian Calendar: With Tables for the Conversion of Hindu
Hindu
and Muhammadan Into A.D. Dates, and Vice Versa. S. Sonnenschein & Company. pp. 9–12, 26–31.  ^ MN Saha and NC Lahiri (1992), History of the Calendar, CSIR, pages 259-260 ^ KD Abbhyankar (1999). Astrophysics of the Solar System. Universities Press, Orient Longman. pp. 246–247. ISBN 978-81-7371-124-4.  ^ Beteille, Andre (1964). "A Note on the Pongal
Pongal
Festival in a Tanjore Village". Man. 64: 73–75, see discussion of Makar Sankranti. doi:10.2307/2797924.  ^ a b c Tumuluru, Kamal Kumar (2015), Hindu
Hindu
Prayers, Gods and Festivals, Partridge Publishing ^ Rajat Gupta, Nishant Singh, Ishita Kirar & Mahesh Kumar Bairwa (2015) Hospitality & Tourism Management. Vikas Publishing House [1] ^ "Celebrating Nature's Bounty – Magh Bihu". EF News International. Archived from the original on 17 January 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2012.  ^ Sharma, S. P.; Seema Gupta (2006). Fairs & Festivals Of India. Pustak Mahal. p. 25. ISBN 978-81-223-0951-5.  ^ The New Encyclopædia Britannica. 21. Encyclopaedia Britannica. 1987. p. 137. ISBN 978-0-85229-571-7.  ^ " Bihu
Bihu
being celebrated with joy across Assam". The Hindu. January 14, 2005. Retrieved 2009-05-02.  ^ "Bonfire, feast & lots more – Jorhat celebrations promise traditional joy this Magh Bihu". The Telegraph. January 12, 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-02.  ^ url= http://www.markinkalpataru.org/MK/assamese_date/assamese_cal.php ^ [2] ^ Desai, Anjali H. (2007) India
India
Guide Gujarat. India
India
Guide Publications ^ Vyas, Rajnee (2006) Welcome to Gujarat.Akshara Prakashan ^ Reejhsinghani, Aroona (2004) Essential Sindhi Cookbook. Penguin Books India
India
[3] ^ Singh, edited by S.K.; al.], P. Nag ; research team Santosh Verma ... [et (1999). Tourism and trekking in Nainital Region. New Delhi: Concept Pub. ISBN 9788170227694. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ "पतित पावनी सरयू-गोमती नदी का संगम गंदगी मुक्त हुआ". Amar Ujala Bureau (in Hindi). Bageshwar: Amar Ujala. 26 December 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2017.  ^ a b c Pant, Shiva
Shiva
Darshan. The Social Economy of the Himalayans: Based on a Survey in the Kumaon Himalayas. Mittal Publications. p. 197. Retrieved 15 October 2016.  ^ "Choliya dances enthrall at Bageshwar
Bageshwar
mela". Almora: The Times of India. TNN. 14 June 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2016.  ^ Goyal, Ashutosh (2014) RBS Visitors Guide INDIA – Odisha: Odisha Travel Guide. Data and Expo India
India
Pvt Ltd [4] ^ a b c Times News Network (TNN) (15 January 2014). "Makar Sankranti observed with pomp in state". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 15 January 2014.  ^ Krishnan, Rukmini (10 January 2014). "Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
Celebrations". DNA (Diligent Media Corporation). Archived from the original on 15 January 2014.  ^ "Makar Sankranti
Sankranti
Food". Ifood TV. Archived from the original on 15 January 2014.  ^ a b Press Trust of India
India
(PTI) (14 January 2014). "Makar Sankranti celebrations: Sky lanterns dot the sky". The Times of India.  ^ Eastern World, Volumes 4–5 1950 ^ Bhalla, Kartar Singh (2005) Let's Know Festivals of India. Star Publications [5] ^ a b "Traditional fervour marks Makar Sankranti". The Times of India. 15 January 2012.  ^ West Bengal
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District Gazetteers: Calcutta and Howrah 1972 ^ "Devotees throng Gangasagar
Gangasagar
on Makara Sankranti". Retrieved 15 January 2012.  ^ http://www.thedailystar.net/star-weekend/shakrain-festival-kites-and-fireworks-205195 ^ Human ecology of Sikkim, Gulia, Kuldip Singh (2004) ^ Encyclopaedic Ethnography of the Himalayan Tribes: R-Z, Volume 4 Narendra S. Bisht, T. S. Bankoti (2004) [6] ^ Reejhsinghani, Aroona(2004) Essential Sindhi Cookbook. Penguin Books India
India
[7] ^ Pongal
Pongal
Sri Lanka

External links[edit]

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