The air has been tempting us towards all things warm and yummy, and with the festive season upon us, we have all the more reasons to give in to our indulgences. The nation is up for celebrating Makar Sankranti on 14th January. Makar Sankranti is the most widely celebrated Indian festival across the country.
The festival generally includes- kite flying, lavish fairs, and food. It has its own local version at many places- Ugadi in Karnataka and Telangana, Lohri in Punjab, Magh Bihu in Assam and Pongal in Tamil Nadu are also celebrated around the same time. It is a very significant time for an agro-based country like India.
This phase also marks the Sun’s move into the 10th house of the zodiac Capricorn or Makara. The transition results in longer and warmer days. People step out and celebrate the end of cold and harsh winters with a range of traditional delicacies.
The transition also results in longer and warmer days. People step out and celebrate the end of cold and harsh winters with a range of traditional delicacies.
When is Makar Sankranti 2020?
Makar Sankranti would be celebrated this year on 14th January 2020. The festival generally falls in the solar month of Makara and the lunar month of Magha, which is why the festival has two names, Makar Sankranti as well as Magha Sankranti. It also marks the end of the month with winter solstice for India and brings along warmer days. The days that follow are also of longer duration. The six-month auspicious phase according to many Hindu scriptures, is also known as Uttarayana also begins on the day of Sankranti.
Significance of the festival and foods to have on the festival
- Snacks made of sesame and jaggery take the center-stage in various rituals of Sankranti celebrations. In Rajasthan, married women generally offer gifts related to household, make-up, cosmetics to 13 married women. They also offer other snacks like til patti, gajak, kheer, ghevar, and til ladoo. They also fly kite on their rooftops.
- The skies of Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat are also filled with colourful kites on the day of Makar Sankranti. In Delhi, both Lohri and Makar Sankranti are celebrated with great fervour. In Haryana, people also indulge in Churmaa festive preparation made which generally includes ghee, atta, and nuts.
- Uttar Pradesh witnessed an outpour of people from different parts of the country for the magnanimous Magh Mela, an annual gathering in Prayag, on the banks of Triveni Sangam, where many take a dip in the holy Ganges and pay their respects to the Sun God.
- In Bengal, the celebrations generally last for three whole days. Needless to say, feasting forms a crucial component of the festivities. Doodh Phuli, Patishapta, Gur Payesh are some popular delicacies savored. In Himachal, people take dips in springs and baolis (stepwells) and later proceed to have a lunch of khichdi and gur.
- In Maharashtra, festive treats like puran poliand til ladoos are prepared. While offering til ladoo or ’tilachi ladoo’ to family and friends as a greeting people of Maharashtra say “til gud ghyaa, aani goad goad bola”, which means eat til (sesame) and gud (jaggery) and speak well.
- In Karnataka greetings are often shared like “ellu bella thindu olle maathadi” that translates to ‘eat the mixture of sesame seeds and jaggery, and speak only good.