Makar Sankranti – Binding India with faith and devotion .January 14, 2021
The auspicious festival of Makar Sankranti is celebrated across the country with lots of gaiety and splendour. Offering prayers and worship to the Sun God, Makar Sankranti inspires to have peace and unity.
Spiritual significance behind the festival :
According to legends, on this special day, Lord Sun meets his son Sani for the first time. Another story says that on the day of Makar Sankranti Lord Krishna demolished the terror of Ashuras. Hence this period symbolizes the ending of evil power and the beginning of a peaceful new era. In different regions of India, this festival is known by different regional names and the festivities are performed with varied rituals amidst of fun and merriment.
Uttarayan in Gujarat :
Makar Sankranti is observed as Uttarayan or International Kite Festival in Gujarat. The sky changes colours as millions of kite enthusiasts pitch themselves from rooftops and open fields. Waves of kites’ overwhelm the otherwise deep blue sky. Many kites have social messages, awareness information marked on exclusive patterns and designs. Figurative and geometric designs on kites are also common.
Lohri in Punjab :
People of Punjab and Haryana, are busy in making preparations for their much-awaited bonfire festival, Lohri. This is the time when they can come out of their homes and celebrate the harvesting of the Rabi (winter) crops.
Bhogali OR Magha Bihu in Assam :
This harvest festival in Assam is a feasting festival. As the name ‘Bhogali’ suggests ‘feasting’, Bihu is a celebration of food after a good harvest and a variety of sweets are prepared from rice, coconut and til. After the burning of ‘Mejis’ (made of bamboo, hay and dry leaves), people sit down to enjoy their fill of traditional Assamese food. Amidst the enchanting notes of flutes and buffalo horns, the youth sings the Bihu songs with lyrics of a good harvest.
Pongal in Tamil Nadu :
Between 14th to 17th January is the festival of Pongal, as it is called in Tamil Nadu. There are different aspects of this festival, which falls in the month of Thai in Tamil calendar. There is Bhogi, during which houses are cleaned, decorated with mango leaves and the first cut of paddy, to enhance the vibrancy of the house. All the unnecessary things in one’s home are disposed of.
Khichdi Parv in Uttar Pradesh/Uttarakhand :
Apart from taking a holy dip in river Ganga ( Magha Snan) and flying kites on Makar Sankranti (14th January), the day is also celebrated by relishing a delicacy of khichdi ( prepared from rice and dal) and is offered to the Sun god. After the pooja, it is distributed among the family members as Prasad. Magha Mela is also organised at Prayag (Allahabad) at the Triveni Sangam. Also, attend the grand Ganga Aarti at the Triveni Ghat.
Ellu Bella in Karnataka :
Makar Sankranti marks the celebrations of Ellu Bella festival in Karnataka(14th January). Bulls and cows are decorated and use of freshly cut sugarcane, sesame seeds, jaggery and coconut are done to prepare regional delicacies on this day. But what makes this mix really special is, that it is never made handful or spoonful. Ellu Bella is always made in quantities that are large enough to be shared with at least ten households.