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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy Lohri

Makar Sankranti
By Mamta Dhingra Mamta Dhingra is expert author. She has reviewed books. She has written articles on women, tourism, health topics.

Sankranti, Sankranthi, Makar Sankranti or Makar Sankranthi is a celebrated on January 14th.It is also celeberated as Pongel, Lohri, Bhogali Bihu.
Sankranthi is a day of month when sun moves from one Zodiac sign to other. It is derived from word - Sat + Kranti means good change or auspiciios movement. It also signify change. Sankranti is considered an auspicious day. Makar means Capricorn. On this day sun moves from Sagittarius into Capricorn.

Sankranti vs Makar Sankranti
Sankranti is once in a month. Makar Sankranti is celebrated once in year.

Makar Sankranti in India
The festival is celebrated in every parts of India.

Pongal in South India

The festival is known as Pongal in south India specially in Anadhra Pradesh or AP. The festival is celebrated for 3 days. People wear new cloth, exchange gift. Rangolis (colorful decoration) are made at each home.
In Karnataka and Tamilnadu too Makar Sankranti is celebrated with equal enthusiasm. Farmers celebrate the harvesting of Sugar cane.

Makar Sankranti in Western India
In Western India - Rajasthan, Gujrat, Maharashtra it is a very special festival.
In Rajasthan, Gujrat a kite festival is organized. The kite season starts before Sankranti. On Jan 14, kite festival is celebrated full day. It is an official Kite day. Gujrat even organize international kite festival on this day. People reach to open areas or roof of their home. Colorful and various shape kites are flown.
In Gujrat Makar Sankranti is also known as Uttarayan

Lohri in North India

In North India - Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal - people make Khicdi in morning. Kichdi is made of rice and dal (lentils). Families first donate Khichdi to temple/priest and then eat it in breakfast. The cities where holy river Ganga flows such Allahabad, Haridwar - people take bath in river. In Ahmedabad, Magh Mela (a fair) starts on Jan 14 morning.
Northern India also celebrate Lohri on night of Jan 13. Lohri denote the end of winter. People use bon fire and dance. People eat Jaggary sweets (called Gajak, Rewari), peanuts while seating near the fire.

Bhogali Bihu in Eastern India

In Bengal people celebrate this on Holy river Ganga. A Mela called "Ganga Sagar" is held on bank of river Ganga. In Assam festival is called - Bhogali Bihu
Not only i Eastern India, the festival is celebrated in neighboring eastern countries such as Myanmar, Thailand.

There are different cultures in different states of India. Sankranti brings joy for all states. It brings whole India together.

Farmers who grow sugar cane in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab celebrate harvest of Sugar Cane. all states where River Gange is - people take holy bath.

Happy Makar Sankranti, Happy Pongal, Happy Lohri, Happy Bhogali Bihu!!

Learn Makar Sankranti, Sankranti significance. Learn how to celebrate and make most of it at

Learn about all Indian festivals at

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