Makar Sankranti: Harvest Festival !!!

India is a priestine land. The land which provide accommodation to all the religious communities and give them chance to flourish. The geographical location of India provides it with all the kind of seasons. The people of India celebrate all the seasons with charm. Today is Makar Sankranti. It is celebrated as harvest festival in Indian Subcontinent.

Makar Sankranti

Indians in different regions of India celebrate Makar Sankranti as the festival. So, in North India people celebrate this day as Lohri, Kite Flying Festival and Uttarayan(Gujarat). The festival of Makar Sankranti holds a special significance because this is a day which marks the equal durations of day and night. This is the day after which the days become longer as well as warmer.

I am basically from Bhilwara, Rajasthan. In my home, on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti, my mother make “Til Ke Laddu”. Actually, it is also said that after 14th January, the size of day increases by the size of ‘Til’ and the days get warmer.

Pongal in South India :)
Pongal in South India 🙂

The major reason known for the celebration of Makar Sankranti is the onset of the harvest season. This day is auspicious from the time of the Mahabharata because the great epic includes an episode of the festivity and the Bhishma Pitamaha also left his body today.

Makara Sankranti is believed to be a time for peace and prosperity. The day is regarded as important for spiritual practices. So accordingly, people take a holy dip in rivers, especially Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Krishna, and Cauvery. People also give charity on the Sankranti.

Lohri Celebration

It is the harvest festival in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi region. People consider mid-January as an ideal time to harvest sugarcane. Kite flying on Lohri is popular in some parts of Punjab. On the night of Lohri, people light bonfires to worship the god of fire and perform rituals.

Lohri Celebration in Disha Bodh Shivir at Jhinjholi, 2015
Lohri Celebration in Disha Bodh Shivir at Jhinjholi, 2015

I have been in Delhi for 2years (2014-2016). I was staying there in Nirankari Colony. So, I used to celebrate Lohri with my neighbours and friends. 🙂 People of that colony do “bhangra” around the bonfires. You can not stop yourself to dance on the beats of Punjabi Songs. The elder people of our colony used to tell their experiences of Lohri. They then sit down and eat the delicious food that is specially prepared for the occasion.

Pongal Celebration

This time I am in South India. So, I am exploring the culture of South India. Ladies of South India make beautiful Kolam and prepare Pongal a very delicious dish.  In Tamil Nadu, the day is called ‘Bhogi Pongal’. People dispose their old rudimentary items on this day. The day shows the importance of removing all the dirt and unwanted things from their home as well as their mind.

We made a beautiful Kolam today in our apartment. See,

Makar Sankranti: Beautiful Kolam :)Makar Sankranti: Beautiful Kolam :)
Makar Sankranti: Beautiful Kolam made by Beautiful Ladies 🙂 🙂 😉

People also decorate their cattle with sandal paste, vermilion, turmeric, flowers and bells made out of grasses, “Netti” shoots and flowers. Though nowadays, we rarely found cattle with people in metros. People living in village decorate their cattle as our villages, fortunately, do not leave our traditions.

Bhogali Bihu or Magh Bihu

In Assam, people celebrate 14th January as Bhogali Bihu. I was in Guwahati in 2014 and there we have celebrated the Bhogali Bihu. This is the harvest festival in Assam. The highlight of this festival is the food due to the abundance of grains after the harvest.

The night before Magh Bihu is called Uruk, it is the night of feasts. Villagers make bamboo huts called Bhelaghor, or community kitchen and begin the preparations. Various dishes, vegetables, meat items and sweets such as Pitha, Laru are made out of sesame, molasses and coconut are prepared.

This is a glimpse of the Makar Sankranti, enjoy the day fullest and have blessings of all the deities and more important Stay Connected and Stay Happy. 🙂

Thank you so much. 🙂