How Makar Sankranti Is Celebrated In 6 Different States In India

makar sankranti

GeneralWritten By: Debadrita Balial

India is a land of culture, tradition, love and devotion. More importantly, it is a land of festivals. India celebrates many festivals with immense pride and joy. One such festival is Makar Sankranti. It has great historical, cultural and spiritual significance all across India. In a country like India that is rich with diversity, this festival exhibits a sheer variety across different states.

If we go into detail about the significance of this festival, then what comes first is that it is a harvest festival celebrated during the sun’s transition to the Capricorn or Makara phase, marking the end of winter. This is a day dedicated to worshiping the Sun God.

Every state in India has its own way of celebrating Makar Sankranti. Let us look at some of the major states on how they observe Makar Sankranti.

#1 West Bengal

In West Bengal, this festival is hugely known as Poush Parbon or Gangasagar Mela.  Gangasagar Mela is the second biggest congregation of humanity after Kumbha Mela. People all across the globe gather at the confluence of the river Ganga and the Bay of Bengal to take a holy dip, thereby, offering “Puja” at the sacred Kapil Muni ashram. 

Makar Sankranti also marks the last day of the Bengali month Poush. The Goddess Lakshmi is usually worshipped on this day in Bengal. The freshly harvested paddy and the date palm syrup in the form of “Khejur Gur” and “Patali” are used in the preparation of a variety of traditional mouth-watering Bengali sweets made with fresh cut harvested rice, coconut, milk and date palm jaggery. These are popularly called “Puli Pitha”.

#2 Gujarat

Popularly known as “Uttarayan”, the main attraction of this festival in Gujarat is the flying of kites. The sky changes colors as millions of Gujaratis enjoy flying kites from their terraces and rooftops. Loud voices scream exclamatory words like “Kai po che!” and “Lapet!”

“Undhiyu” a flavorfuldish made with fresh winter veggies and delicious Gujarati sweets such as “Chikkis” and “Jalebees” are the special recipes savored on this auspicious day.

#3 Punjab

In Punjab, Makar Sankranti is celebrated as “Lohri” with an abundance of colors, dance, music, bonfire and vibrancies.Children go door to door to collect their “loot” (sweets and savories like popcorns, rewri, peanuts, jaggery, gajak, etc.) singing “Dulhabhatti”. In the evening, men and women gather in circles dressed in vibrant traditional colors and dance “Bhangra” around the bonfire.

#4 Andhra Pradesh

It is a four-day festival in the state of Andhra Pradesh. “Bhoghi”, the first day usually observes a bonfire where old items are thrown. The second day,“Makara Sankranti” is the big festival day celebrated with rangoli, sweets and colorful decorations. Day four is “Kanuma”, celebrated specially farmers. The final day is known as “Mukkanuma”. After strictly eating vegetables for the three days, people finally enjoy meat delicacies on this last day of the festival.

#5 Tamil Nadu

Makar Sankranti, known as “Pongal” in Tamil Nadu, is an auspicious festival of great cultural and spiritual significance. People celebrate for four days making varieties of delicious and savory sweets prepared with rice, milk, jaggery, sesame, etc. A special boiling of rice on a pot marks the main celebration of Pongal.

#6 Jharkhand and Bihar

Khichdi Parv in Bihar and Jharkhand is celebrated by taking holy dips in rivers, flying kites, making bonfires and relishing special “Khichdi” made with lentil rice, cauliflower, peas and potatoes), savored together with “Chokha” (roasted vegetable), achaar (pickle), papad and ghee. Various types of sweets are also prepared with sesame seeds and jaggery (“Tilgud”).

Bottom Line

This propitious festival is celebrated in diverse ways and manners across different states and cultures across India. It is one of the most looked forward Hindu festivals. The fragrance of sweet jaggery, sesame seeds, bonfires, delicious khichdi, coconut and Badam laddoo, Puli Pitha and colorful kites fill the air during the most anticipated festival in January, Makar Sankranti.

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