How Indians Celebrate Makar Sankranti?

Makar Sankranti is an auspicious festival dedicated to Surya - the Sun God and marks the inception of the harvesting season. The very first Indian festival of New Year, Makar Sankranti marks the end of the winter and the beginning of longer days. It is celebrated almost all across the country, under different names in different states. Some prepare delicious sweets, some worship and feed special food to cattle; some enjoy around bonfires while some go for taking a holy dip in river Ganges. Let's have a look at how Indians celebrate Makar Sankranti.

How Indians Celebrate Makar Sankranti

Gujarat - Uttarayan

Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan is a two-day festival in Gujarat. People revel in the festivities by enjoying kite flying, relishing Undhiyu and chikkis. The whole Gujarat burst with colour and energy on Makar Sankranti. From markets selling colourful kites and Manjha and bright kandeels in the sky to food stalls serving yummilicious food - everything looks happy.

Punjab - Maghi

Makar Sankranti is celebrated as Maghi in Punjab. The celebrations revolve around wearing new clothes, lighting a bonfire, worshipping it, performing Giddha & Bhangra, sharing Makar Sankranti wishes with the near & dear ones, and savouring dishes like rewri, gajak and popcorn. A grand fair is organised at Sri Muktsar Sahib that commemorates a major event in the history of Sikhs.

West Bengal - Posh Parbon

Makar Sankranti is celebrated as Posh Parbon and is also known as Baharlakshmi puja. On this festival, the Ganga Mela fair (India’s biggest mela) is also held in West Bengal where thousands of pilgrims gather to perform festive rituals. They bathe in the holy waters of the Ganga river, light lamps and chant. Khejurer Gur and Patali are some of the sweets exchanged at the festival.

Karnataka - Suggi

Makar Sankranti or Suggi in Karnataka is a significant festival for the farmers of Karnataka. The festival marks the harvest season of sugarcane. On this day, gods are honoured for a good yield, people wear brand new clothes and girls paint rangoli. The highlight of this festival is a ritual called ‘Ellu Birodhu’ where ladies exchange Ellu Bella - a delicacy of freshly cut sugarcane, groundnut, sesame seeds, jaggery, and coconut - with at least 10 families. Cows are worshipped in a traditional way and are taken on a celebratory procession. Moreover, community kite flying is also a popular tradition in northern Karnataka.