One festival, different names! Here's how Makar Sankranti is celebrated in different Indian states

Makar Sankranti is one of the most auspicious Hindu festivals in India. The ancient Indian festival, which is celebrated to mark the beginning of the harvesting season in India, is probably the only festival that is celebrated in every region of India, on the same day, but in different manners and names. 

From Pongal, Khichdi to Maghi, here's how Makar Sankranti is celebrated in India

 

Uttar Pradesh (Khichdi)

In Uttar Pradesh, the festival is commonly known as Kichedi, involves ritual bathing in the holy water and people eat dish, made from rice and pulses, called khichdi after it's offered to the Sun God.

Over millions of people gather at their respective sacred places for the holy bath.

(Photograph:Twitter)

Tamil Nadu (Pongal)

Tamil Nadu, the South India state, also celebrates the harvest festival in a grand manner. The festival is known as Pongal in the state and the Tamil-speaking people celebrate Pongal, also Tamilian New Year, for a period of four days.

The three days of the Pongal festival are called Bhogi Pongal, Surya Pongal and Maattu Pongal and Kaanum Pongal. The festival is named after the ceremonial 'Pongal', which means "to boil, overflow" and refers to the traditional dish prepared from the new harvest of rice boiled in milk with jaggery (raw sugar).

(Photograph:Twitter)

Punjab (Maghi)

Maghi is the celebration of Makar Sankranti in the state of Punjab, a day after Lohri, which marks the end of winter. The day is a traditional welcome of longer days and the sun's journey to the northern hemisphere by Hindus and Sikhs in the northern region of the Indian subcontinent. 

The celebration of Maghi involves everything from praying, performing bhangra, Punjabi folk dance, to the fire and making visits to the Gurudwara on this day to seek the blessings of the almighty.

 

(Photograph:Twitter)

Assam (Magh Bihu)

In Assam - the northeastern state of India - Makar Sankranti is celebrated as Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu. It is one of the biggest festivals of the Hindu population in Assam.  

Like other Indian states, Bihu is associated with agriculture, and rice in particular. On this day, people wear traditional clothes like dhoti, gamosa, and saadar mekhela and bonfires are burned in the fields and people pray to their ancestral gods for blessings.

(Photograph:Twitter)

Gujarat (Uttarayana)

One of the major festival for Gujarati people around the world. The festival lasts for two days, first day is celebrated on January 14 and is called Uttarayan. On this day, kites festivals are organized all over the state, that fill the entire state with colors and echo of ‘kai po che’ can be heard everywhere.

 

(Photograph:Twitter)

West Bengal (Poush Sankranti)

In West Bengal, the festival is known as Poush Sankranti, named after the Bengali month in which it falls. Mouth-watering sweets like pithe, pathisapta etc with rice and palm jaggery mark the harvest festival.

This part of the country is known for its Ganga Sagar Mela, an annual celebration held during Makar Sankranti. This is the place where the sacred river Ganga merges with the Bay of Bengal (sea). Devotees take a dip in the holy waters of the river and offer their prayers to the Gods. 

(Photograph:Twitter)

Uttarakhand (Ghughutia)

In Uttarakhand, Makar Sankranti is known as Ghughutia and is celebrated with a lot of zeal in the entire Kumaon region of the Himalayan state. Though in other parts of the state, Makar Sankranti is observed by flying kites, taking a holy dip and donating and eating khichdi, the people of Kumaon has a unique way. On the day, they greet the crows on their rooftop with different delicacies and seek the blessings of the bird. 

(Photograph:Twitter)

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