Search
» »Makara Sankranti- Harvest festivals of India

Makara Sankranti- Harvest festivals of India

Makara Sankranti- Harvest festivals of India

Makara Sankranti has spiritual and religious significance for all Hindus. This is the day when according to astrological charts the sun transistions into the Makara rashi(house of Capricorn) from the house of Sagittarius. Makara Sankranti is a harvest festival and is supposed to be the festival of new beginnings. It is celebrated across the country but under different names and with different rituals. Til (Sesame) seeds and gur (jaggery) are an esential part of this festival. Here are some ways in which this fest is celebrated across the country.

Makara Sankranti in Karnataka
  

Makara Sankranti in Karnataka

Makara Sankranthi in Karnataka is the "Suggi" or harvest festival which is an important occasion in the month of January. On this auspicious day, young women dress up in new clothes to visit near and dear ones with a Sankranti offering in a plate, and exchange the same with other families. This ritual is called "Ellu Birodhu". The plate would normally contain white sesame seeds mixed with fried groundnuts, dry coconut, cut Jaggery, this mixture is called "Ellu-Bella". They also offer pieces of sugarcane and molded sugar candy.

Til Sakraat in Bihar
  

Til Sakraat in Bihar

Known as Til Sakraat in Bihar, people take bath in rivers and ponds and have seasonal delicacies as a celebration of a good harvest. Chura(puffed rice), gur (jaggery), various sweets made of til(sesame seeds) such as tilkut are the main delicacies. Khidchi(Gram-rice with vegetables, peas and potatoes) is also a must-have on this day. People pay their respects to fire by putting sesame seeds into fire.

Lohri in Punjab
  

Lohri in Punjab

As in other parts of the country, Lohri is celebrated to rejoice a good harvest. Bonfires are lit and sweets, sugarcane and rice are thrown in the bonfire.

Lohri in Punjab
  
 

Lohri in Punjab

The following day is celebrated as Maghi or the beginning of the month of Magh. Sweet dishes like kheer are prepared. It is considered auspicious to take a bath in a river on this day. People meet friends and relatives and exchange greetings and gifts.

Bhogali Bihu in Assam
  

Bhogali Bihu in Assam

Bhogali Bihu is also called Magh Bihu. The word Bhog that means eating and enjoyment. Since the harvesting season is over and granaries are full it is a period of feasting. On the eve of the Bihu day, young unmarried men go to the field, preferably near a river, build a makeshift cottage called Bhelaghar with the hay of the harvest fields and build a towering structure called Meji out of hay and bamboo. They spend the night in the field and cook their food there. Non-vegetarian food like mutton and fish is a special attraction on this night.

Bhogali Bihu in Assam
  

Bhogali Bihu in Assam

In the morning, people take a bath and burn the meji. The ash of the meji is strewn around in orchards and vegetable plantations in the belief of increasing fertility. Pitha(rice cakes) are the specialty during Bihu. People sing Bihu songs to the accompaniment of a Dhol ( a type of drum). Games are also played.

Thai Pongal in Tamil Nadu
  

Thai Pongal in Tamil Nadu

Thai Pongal is the four-day harvest festival of Tamil Nadu. The second of the four days is the main festival which coincides with Makara Sankranti and is known as Thai Pongal.

Thai Pongal in Tamil Nadu
  

Thai Pongal in Tamil Nadu

On the day of Pongal, at sunrise there will be a symbolic boiling of rice and milk in the hope that prosperity will overflow in the same manner.

Uttaryan in Gujarat
  

Uttaryan in Gujarat

Uttaryan is the harvest festival of Gujarat. The highlight of the Uttarnayana festival is the International kite festival. The Patang Bazaar (kite market), situated in the heart of Ahmedabad city, is open 24 hours a day during the Uttarayan week.

 Uttaryan festival in Gujarat
  

Uttaryan festival in Gujarat

Illuminated box kites known as tukkals are flown in the night sky and during the day time people feast on traditional delicacies like undhiyu( a delicacy of vegetables), jalebi and til ladoos. The kite festival attracts people from across the world.

Read more about: travel

Get best deals on travel, receive travel tips and travel stories instantly.

Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Done
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Nativeplanet sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Nativeplanet website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more