Makar Sankranti 2023, a Hindu festival, is celebrated in various regions of India and Nepal. It marks the beginning of the solar month of Makara and is celebrated on 14th January each year.
The sun god Surya is worshipped along with Lord Vishnu and goddess Lakshmi throughout India on this auspicious day. Makar Sankranti 2023 is the end of the winter solstice.
Spring formally arrives with Makar Sankranti. On this day, the Sun transits from Sagittarius to Capricorn(Makara). It holds both astrological and traditional importance.
Sun god is offered delicacies, faith, and khichdi(rice cooked with lentils).
The Hindu epic Mahabharata tells how King Bhishma could choose to die at a particular time or on a specific day. He was waiting for Makar Sankranti to seek death. It is also believed that Krishna lifted the Govardhan Hill to protect the people of the village from a storm sent by the God Indra on Makar Sankranti.
Makar Sankranti is celebrated in India with great joy. Various rituals and traditions, such as kite flying, bonfires, and the exchange of sweets, are integral to the celebrations. People come together and celebrate the harvest season with enthusiasm.
To start the New Year on an optimistic note, love and unity; sweets, savoury treats, and other food items are distributed.
Various names know Makar Sankranti in different parts of the country; Maghi Sangrand or Uttarain in Jammu, Sakraat in Rajasthan, Sakrat in Haryana, Dahi Chura in Bihar, Bhogi in Andhra Pradesh, Magh Bihu in Assam, Maghi in Punjab, Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Maghi Saaji in Himachal Pradesh, and Sankranti in Karnataka, and many more.
Here are some cities where Makar Sankranti celebrations are a sheer delight to witness:
Makar Sankranti 2023 Amritsar, Punjab
In Punjab, two festivals are celebrated: Lohri and Makar Sankranti(Maghi). Lohri is celebrated on the 13th of January each year, the day before Makar Sankranti.
Lohri is celebrated with great enthusiasm. It is an auspicious festival that is believed to mark the end of the winter solstice and the start of longer days.
It is linked to the worship of Agni, the Hindu god of fire. A bonfire is lit, which is believed to bring good luck and prosperity. People wear new clothes, gather around the bonfire, offer prayers, and perform traditional dances.
Lohri is marked by the exchange of sweets and enjoying classic folk songs. Lohri brings people together and helps strengthen the bonds of the community. The next day, 14th January is Maghi.
People get on rooftops, play music, dance, and fly kites. Mahabharat is the first Indian text ever to mention Maghi Mela. Everyone shares food and enjoys the celebrations at the festival of sharing and joy.
Makar Sankranti 2023 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Uttarayan is a two-day festival. The 14th of January is celebrated as Uttarayan, and the 15th of January is Vasi-Uttarayan.
Ahmedabad is an excellent place to celebrate Makar Sankranti and understand the state’s rich culture. The artistic kite festival fills every street with a kaleidoscope of liveliness. Kite-flying competitions are also held in localities.
People get on their rooftops to enjoy kite flying. Kite flying has been associated with good health as the person is exposed to the Sun for a good time. The special glass-laced threads(manjha) are dangerous, and professional kite flyers often wear gloves to protect their hands. Light-weight bamboo kites are made for kids for easy flying.
From the bazaars that sell the different-hued Manjha(the thread tied to the kites), colourful kites, stalls selling jalebis to shopping malls, all glow in a different hue. Undhiyu, a spicy vegetable dish, is a staple of the festival.
People start flying kites in December to mark the upcoming Uttarayan season. Makar Sankranti is a major festival in Gujarat, and it is celebrated with great enthusiasm.
Makar Sankranti 2023 Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu
Pongal is a four-day festival. The four days of celebration are Bhogi Pandigai, Thai Pongal, Maattu Pongal, and Kaanum Pongal. The celebration begins on the last day of Margazhi month. The previous day is observed on the third day of the Tamil month Thai(Pausha).
The harvest of the verdant paddy fields of the state is celebrated on Makar Sankranti. Thanjavur is the largest rice-producing region in Tamil Nadu. You can witness the traditions followed at the special pooja for cattle on Mattu Pongal day at Brihadeshwara temple.
In the streets, locals conduct rangoli trials to make them look lively and vigorous. The main attraction of Pongal is the preparation of unique dishes, such as Pongal (a type of rice porridge) and Venn Pongal (a spicy rice dish). Be sure to check out Brihadeeshwara Temple on your visit to Thanjavur. Gopurams are built so that their shadows never fall on the ground.
Makar Sankranti 2023 Madurai, Tamil Nadu
Madurai is famed for its traditional sport Jallikattu and Jasmin flowers. Jallikattu is the traditional sport of the region played during Pongal. Madurai is the perfect place to experience Pongal in its true sense.
The local mouth-watering treats will leave you wanting more. On the first day of the four-day festival, farmers with their families donate a portion of the harvest to the Sun god as thanksgiving at daybreak.
The celebration includes making unique and vivid Rangolis. The sweet dish Sakkarai Pongal, made of jaggery and rice in mud pots, is served on this auspicious occasion. Mango leaves decorate the main door.
The entire house is cleaned and freshened up to commemorate the festival. Distinctive poojas pay respect to cattle during the harvesting season.
Makar Sankranti 2023 Hyderabad, Telangana
Hyderabad holds to its colours in every aspect. Makar Sankranti is a four-day affair in this part of the country.
The first day is Bhogi which entails burning old things on a campfire and chanting and dancing around it. On the day of Sankranti, people wear new clothes, paint the house, draw rangolis and cook Chakkara Pongal, which is made with milk, rice, and jaggery.
Cattle are glorified and worshipped for their contribution towards the harvest. Highlights of the festival include the Bhogi Panduga parade.
The harvest festival involves praising the spirits and gods for a good yield. People don new clothes and draw exciting rangoli designs. The highlight is Ellu-Bella, a mish-mash of fried groundnut, jaggery, white sesame, and dry coconut, shared among the neighbours.
Along with this, women also share pieces of sugarcane, bananas, Kum Kum and Haldi. As a neighbourhood celebration, people revel in kite flying.
Distinctive prayers are offered to cattle, and the cattle are taken on a celebratory parade. On tour to Mysore, take notice to visit the beautiful Mysore Palace, Brindavan garden, Chamundeshwari temple, Mysore Museum, and Zoo. The Bull Temple in the city of Bangalore also attracts a large number of visitors.
Makar Sankranti 2023 Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh: Makar Sankranti is celebrated as Khichri in Uttar Pradesh and is marked by preparing a special dish called khichri. Kite-flying competitions are held at various locations throughout the state.
Taking a regular bath in the Ganga river on Makar Sankranti is considered auspicious among Hindus. The holy water of the Ganga river is believed to have purifying powers.
Devotees travel to the ghats of the Ganga river to take a holy dip and offer prayers to the goddess. Varanasi is one of the most sacred cities in Hinduism and is popular among devotees for its expansive ghats.
Kumbh Mela is observed every twelve years. The tradition of taking a holy dip at Prayagraj Ganga-Yamuna Confluence is attributed to Adi Shankaracharya. It is one of the world’s largest mass pilgrimages, with an estimated 60 to 100 million people attending the holy event.
Makar Sankranti festival in Jaipur, Rajasthan
Pink City is the best destination for a winter trip. Makar Sankranti in Jaipur is something you will never miss. The pleasant weather is welcoming, and the city comes alive! You’ll see a multitude of bright kites lining the sky. Unique dishes are prepared on Makar Sankranti, such as til ke laddu (balls made of sesame seeds and jaggery) and Gajak (a sweet made of sesame seeds and jaggery).
The main attraction of Makar Sankranti in Jaipur is the Govind Devji Temple, which is a popular destination for devotees. Women celebrate Teej by observing the ritual of giving any household, makeup items, or food to 13 married women.
Newly married women are invited to their maternal homes with their husbands for a big feast. People invite friends and relatives for a special “Sankrant Bhoj.”
Makar sankranti in India, Haridwar, Uttrakhand
Haridwar is the country’s most beautiful religious destination. The city on the ghats of the Ganges is magnificent in winter. Har ki Pauri, located on the Ganga River’s bank, is a popular tourist destination.
Haridwar is a popular pilgrimage destination that draws a large number of visitors. Haridwar hosts the Makar Sankranti festival. Haridwar’s Ganga aarti, which is beautiful on any day, is enchanting on Makar Sankranti.
Ganga Arti is held at the Ganga Ghat in the evenings and is to be noticed.
Indian kite festival in Tripura
In the picturesque northeastern state, Makar Sankranti is known as Hangrai and carries the legacy of tradition. Tripuri mythology revolves around the first two humans created on Earth.
The younger one realized at the end of his elder brother’s life that he had mistreated his elder brother. The elder brother forgives his younger brother, and the one later cremates the elder brother after death and performs all the rituals.
He submerged the dead remains of the deceased elder brother in holy water. Keeping with tradition, the people of Tripura offer the dead’s mortal remains to water on this day. Hangrai day is celebrated with grand pomp and shows every year.
In every house of Tripuri, preparation for Hangrai starts two-three days before. Houses are cleaned, washed whitewashed. All the utensils, clothes, and articles are cleaned, and homes are decorated. Different types of Tripura cakes, dishes, and drinks are prepared, and near and dear ones and relatives are invited for a feast.
Makar Sankranti 2023 date and time, Jammu
Irrespective of the place your are celebrating Makar Sankranti, the date remains the same i.e. Januray the 14th every year.
Jammu: Dogras celebrate Lohri on the last day of the Pausha month of the Hindu calendar. Khichdi, made from Maah ki dal, is quite famous and is often cooked over firewood on the occasion of Maghi Sangrand. Charity is an integral part of the celebrations. The people of Jammu take a holy dip in the Devika river, Uttar Behni, and Purmandal. All are sites worth visiting for their natural beauty.
Makar Sankranti honours the spirit of cooperation in the ecosystem. It is celebrated all over the country due to its significance. We wish you all a Happy Makar Sankranti and hope it brings cheer to every household.