How is the festival of Sankranti celebrated in different parts of India?
Well, while starting to write this piece, the first confusion that we are in is what shall we call this festival? Is calling it Makar Sakranti the right thing as the festival has so many names and the names change sooner than the location and the place. But well, we needed to use some name, so Makar Sankranti it is. The festival is dedicated to the deity Surya which is observed with the lunar motion of Magha in the month of January. On this day, the people of India and Nepal celebrate their crop harvest in different cultural ways. Let’s see the other names of the festival and how is it celebrated in different parts of the country.
1. Lohri (Punjab)
Makar Sankranti is called Lohri in Punjab and is certainly the most auspicious festivals of the culture of Punjab. The festival is celebrated a night before the Sankranti night where people sign the folk songs of Punjab and perform the traditional dance, Giddha and Bhangra. The dress in the colourful salwar suits, do a bonfire, worship it and dance around it on the beats of dhol. For savouries, revri, gur, gajaak, popcorns and peanuts are often exchanged with friend and family and the farmers start their new financial year from Lohri.
2. Makar Sankranti (Maharashtra)
Sankranti is celebrated in Maharashtra with the exchange of “til-gud saying til-gud ghyaa, aani goad-goad bola” (‘Accept these sweets and utter sweet words.). The mutual emotion of the festival is to forget the past, forget the ills and move forward with sweet and happy moments. They also go with a haldi kumkum ceremony on this day.
3. Uttarayan (Gujarat)
We wonder any sky can look better than the sky of Gujarat on the day of Uttarayan. Filed with the colours of hope, people generally fly kites on the festival. On this two day festival, people make ‘Undhiyu’, spicy curry of vegetables, along with Chikkis of til and jaggery.
4. Suggi Habba (Karnataka)
In Karnataka, the Sankranti is known as Suggi Habba and is known for a ritual called, “Ellu Birodhu”. Here, the women exchange “Ellu Bella” (a sweet made of freshly cut sugarcane, sesame seeds, jaggery, and coconut) with at least 10 families. Farmers at the same time celebrate the harvest by decorating the cows and bulls with colourful costumes, lit the fire with their bulls in a ceremony called “Kichchu Haayisuvudu.”
Apart from these names, Sankranti is also known as Poush sôngkrānti (Bengal), Makara Chaula (Odisha), Maghi Sankrant (Maharashtra and Haryana), Magh/Bhogali Bihu (Assam), Shishur Saenkraat (Kashmir) and Khichdi Parv (UP and Bihar). The common celebrations include flying kites, singling folk songs of prosperity, bathing in rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Krishna, and Kaveri to wash away the sins, worshipping the sun, and it also marks the start of “Kumbha Mela”, “Gangasagar Mela” and “Makara Mela. One World News wishes all of you a warm and happy Sankranti with whichever name you would like to call it.
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