Sankranthi Celebrations in Different States of India

Makar Sankranti or Pongal is one of the biggest Hindu festival that is celebrated on the 14th of January each year. It is the festival of harvest celebrated with different names across various states of India. Indian being country of agriculture celebrates Sankranti for almost 4 days with each day having its own significance

Why is Pongal celebrated on 14th January every year?

14th January marks the first day when the sun transits into the Capricorn zodiac. Makar means Capricorn and Sankranti means transition. It’s the time when winter starts to recede and days start to get longer by duration. Thus, Makar Sankranti is celebrated with credit to the Sun.

How Pongal celebrated in different parts of India:

Makar Sankranti Celebration in Andhra Pradesh & Telangana :
In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, a four-day long festival, Pongal, is celebrated to mark the occasion of the new year. Bhogi, Sankranti, Kanuma, and Mukkanuma are the names of the four festivals celebrated consecutively on the four days. The first day is celebrated as “Bhogi” by discarding the old and useless furniture in the house. A bonfire is usually lit up marking the end of old habits and welcoming the new On the second day of Makara Sankranthi, People wear new clothes, share sweets, buy new household items, decorate houses with colorful rangolis and fly kites. beautiful drawings with flour, called “Rangoli” or “muggu” in Telugu, are drawn in front of homes. These rangoli drawings are decorated with different types of colour, flowers, glitters and small, hand-pressed piles of cow dung, called “gobbemma” are placed at the center.
On this festival, people prepare various traditional food dishes like Chakralu, Ariselu, Booralu, Gavvalu, Poornalu, Boondi Mitai, Boondi Laddu, Garelu, Chakinalu, Nuvvula Appalu, karam appalu, and Bellam Appalu. All these items are offered to God as a thanks for a successful harvest and are shared with family and friends.

Makar Sankranti Celebration in Punjab :
Makar Sankranti is celebrated for two days in Punjab as Lohri and Maghi. Lohri is a Punjabi folk festival celebrated on the night of 13th Jan (just before Maghi). Mostly men and women gather at one place, in traditional wear particularly the clothes symbolize the Punjabi culture, and perform popular dance form Bhangra. The festival is celebrated by lighting fire, singing, and dancing. The next day, Maghi (Makar Sankranti) is celebrated by bathing in the river in the early morning hours followed by serving kheer, sweet dishes, and sugarcane juice. Fairs locally called as Maghi Mela are organised across various parts of Punjab.

Makar Sankranti Celebration in Tamil Nadu
Makar Sankranti is the biggest occasion in Tamil Nadu. It is celebrated for four days. Each day has a different name. Day one is called Bhogi Pandigai , Day two is Thai Pongal which is the most important day of the festival, day three is Maattu Pongal and last day is Kaanum Pongal. Similar to other states, on Bhogi Pandigai people throw away old furniture and clothes. Thai Pongal is the main festival, on this day people celebrate by cooking a bowl of boiling rice with milk, Jaggery, sugar, and nuts which is allowed to boil and flow over the vessel.
As the milk boils over the vessel and bubbles out the pot, then people shout Ponggalo Ponggal. The rice is then offered to the Sun as a sign of feeling for blessing them with forcefulness and happiness.

Makar Sankranti Celebration in Gujarat
Gujarati people celebrate Makar Sankranti for two days as Uttarayan and Vasi-Uttarayan. On the first day, from morning onwards, the sky is covered with Kites also called as “Patang” in Hindi. Kites of different types of colors, sizes, and shapes are flown all over the sky from terraces and open grounds. For many, Kite flying is like a competition to cut other peoples’ kites string and then yell “lapet lapet” in Gujarati. In recent years, people also called it the International Kite Festival across the globe. Gujarat people also make a special dish called Undhiyu, which is a mixed vegetable dish and a variety of sweets.

Makar Sankranti Celebration in Maharashtra
In Maharashtra known as Makar Sankranti, most of the People exchange tilgul laddu. This is a special sweet made from sesame seeds and jaggery as a token of goodwill. They wish each other by saying, “Til-gul ghya, aani goad-goad bola”. These words mean to take the sweet and talk sweet words. The main reason behind this is to resolve conflicts, forget the sad feelings of the past, and begin new bonds.

Makar Sankranti Celebration in Uttarpradesh
In Uttarpradesh known as Kicheri, Makar Sankranti is celebrated by having a bath in the river in the early morning. After the bath, they wear new clothes. Later, they make sweets and til laddu. The world’s largest pilgrimage gathering Kumbh Mela takes place at Prayaga Sangam every 12 years. Around 50 to 100 million people gather and bathe in the Ganga river.

Makar Sankranti Celebration in Bihar
In Bihar, they celebrated as Makar Sankranti or Sakraat or Khichdi. On this occasion, people take baths in the holy river. Later, they make chura, gur (jaggery), sweets made of til (sesame seeds) such as tilgul, tilwa, maska, etc., curd, milk, and seasonal vegetables. Tilkut is a special dish for Makar Sankranti, recognized as Sakraat in Bihar and Jharkhand, made of an elegant mix of jaggery and sesame seeds.

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