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The Festival of Kites

‘तिळ गुड घ्या आणि गोड गोड बोला’

As the phrase suggests eat sweet and speak sweet the festival of Makar Sankranti has the same significance of eating the sweet and leaving all the grudges behind. The famous phrase is mostly used in Maharashtra on the occasion of Sakraant .

Makar Sankranti , also known as maghi is a festival day celebrated in reference to the Surya (Sun) .

It marks the first day of sun’s transit into Makar (Capricorn) . This harvest festival is actually celebrated in various parts of Indian subcontinents.Being a festival that celebrates the solar cycle, it usually falls on the same date every year on 14 January but sometimes on 15 January.

The festivities associated with Makar Sankranti are known by various names such as Maghi preceded by (Lohri) by north Indian Hindus and Sikhs, Uttarayana in Gujrat , Makara Sankranti (Pedda Pandaga) in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal,Karnataka and Telangana, Sukarat in central India, Magh Bihu by Assamese, and Pongal by Tamils.

This festival is also known to mark the phase of transition of increasingly lengthening days.This basically means that the days start becoming longer and the nights become shorter as the sun starts making a transition towards North.

This holy festival is dedicated to the worshiping of God Sun.

To celebrate this harvest festival devotees take a dip in the sacred rivers to purge their sin of. It is celebrated by worshiping the first crop of the season .

Makar Sankranti is celebrated with a lots of enthusiasm which includes making several delicacies, particularly laddoos made with til (sesame seeds) and gud (jaggery). These laddoos and chikkis are distributed amongst people and symbolise harmony amongst them. In Northern India rewari, gazak, popcorns and peanuts are the celebratory staples. The Devotees in Bihar make khichdi to celebrate this harvest festival.

In Gujarat , It is celebrated as the Uttarayana i.e. the Kite festival . Various kite flying competitions are held with great enthusiasm.

The festival is just around the corner and is all set to be celebrated on 15 January this year. Many fairs are held on this occasion , the most famous is the Kumbh Mela held at every 12 years at one of the holy places Prayagraj, Nashik,Ujjain and Haridwar . This year it is going to be held at Prayagraj . The Kumbh Mela is going to begin with the first shahi snan of Makar Sankranti . Millions of people are gathering at the sacred place to take dip in the sacred sangam on the occasion of Makar Sankranti and thank God Sun for their success and prosperity.

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