Pongal across India

Apart from binge eating on the delicacies and flying kites, today marks the beginning of Pongal. It's your turn to add some euphoria in this auspicious day.

Makar Sankranti marks the beginning of the Kumbh Mela in Uttar Pradesh marks the transition of the Sun into the zodiacal sign of Makara (Capricorn) on its celestial path, which is the first transmute in the zodiac after the Winter. Makar Sankranti is celebrated in different manners across the Indian realm. The entire nation welcomes the new season of harvest in different styles, but with a single notion of joy.

Andhra Pradesh and Telengana:
Folks of Andhra Pradesh and Telengana celebrate this festival for four days. Viola! Four days... Each day has a significance with various aspects of the dawning season.
Day 1: Bhogi: People throw away old household items and get new replacements, which marks the course of change. At the sunset, they light a bonfire where the old materials are discarded signifying the fire of knowledge called Rudra, a incarnation of Lord Shiva. Children are provided with bher or Regi Pandu, known as Indian Jujube, to shield against the evil threats.
Day 2: Makar Sankranti: This is the main occasion which is celebrated with family. People enjoy the day by wearing new clothes and eat sweet delicacies, especially Pongal. The entrance of the house is decorated with rangoli or muggu (in Telugu).
Day 3: Kanuma: It is celebrated by feeding the cattle and bathing them. This day is meant for celebrating the importance of cattle in domestic and agricultural purposes. Oxen are used for draught labor such as ploughing and tilling. Cows gives milk that is required for other milk products.
Day 4: Mukkanuma: People enjoy this day by spending time with family members and arranging fun activities such as bullock race, kite raving and cock fights.

Bihar and Jharkhand: Sakraat
People residing in these areas celebrate this festival for 2 days. It is either called as Sakraat or Khichdi in their local dialects.
 On the first day of Makar Sankranti, people bath in holy pond or river and taste sweet dishes of the season. The main sweet delicacy is a small ball made of sesame seed and jaggery known as Tilgud and it is an iconic dish of the festival.
The second day is called Makraat in which people celebrate it by having khichdi. Khichdi is a dish made of dal, rice, peas, potatoes and cauliflower.

Gujarat: Uttarayan
Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan is a major festival for Gujarati people. This festival lasts for 2 days.
The first day is celebrated on January 14 and is known as Uttarayan. This word originates from the course that the Sun takes as it starts to move along the northern sky. The onset of Uttarayan is celebrated by flying kites or patang. Phrases such as "Kai po che", "E Lapet" and "Phirki vet phirki" are shouted at the time of kite fight. The following day is called Vasi Uttarayan. People celebrate this grand occasion by making dishes like undhiyu (a mixture of winter vegetables and chikki).

Punjab: Lohri
People from Punjabi region celebrate Lohri on January 13. This occasion is associated with the harvest of winter crops and is celebrated by people of Punjab. This is an ideal season to harvest sugarcane. Thus, the crop has become an iconic item of the festival for farmers. A day after Lohri is known as Maghi is observed as the new year by the farmers. People engage by flying kites and on the night of Lohri, people light bonfires to worship the God of Fire and perform rituals.

Maharashtra: Makar Sankrant
This festival is celebrated for 3 days. People exchange sweets like tilgud, halwa and puran poli. This exchange of sweets is traditionally known to be an indication of truce between enemies.
Day 1: Bhogi
Day 2: Sankrant
Day 3: Kinkrant
Apart from this, Sankrant celebrates the triumph of Goddess Sankranti over demon Sankarasur. Women, clad in black clothes, get together and apply Haldi-Kumkum (turmeric-vermillion) and exchange gifts in form of clothes and utensils. Makar Sankrant also honours the God of education and knowledge- Goddess Saraswati, and ancestors.

West Bengal: Poush Parbon
Puli pithe, paatisapta, narkel nadu, maalpoa and til nadu are some of the most famous sweet dishes that mark Poush Parbon.
The origin of the word Poush is much like Tamil word Thai, which is the name of the month in Bengali calendar. Parbon means festival in Bengali. West Bengal is famous for Ganga Sagar carnival. Devotees come to confluence of river Ganges and the Bay of Bengal to bath before dawn and worship Lord Shiva, Goddess Ganga and Dharma, the Hindu God of Justice.

Tamil Nadu: Pongal
Tamilians celebrate this harvest festival in a grand manner for 4 days.
Day 1: Bhogi Pandigai is celebrated by burning old things in the house and replacing them with new ones. Leaves of neem, Avera lanata, and Senna auriculata are placed over the roof and walls of houses to keep the evil out and this ritual is called Kappu kattu.
Day 2: Thai Pongal is celebrated by having rice boiled with fresh milk and jaggery, topped with raisins, cashews and brown sugar. The moment the first bubble rises from the rice pot, people shout "Pongalo Pongal!" and blow conch to mark the advent of the new harvest season.
Day 3: Mattu Pongal is marked by feeding the cattle. Some villages like Avaniapuram organise Jallikattu,a festival of taming wild bulls.
Day 4: Kaanum Pongal is celebrated with family members. People enjoy the taste of sugar syrup from sugarcane.

Kumbh Mela
Kumbh fair is the highlight of the occasion. It is the largest religious gathering in the world and can be traced via satellites. However, only 4 fairs are recognized as the traditional Kumbh Mela: Haridwar Kumbh Mela, Allahabad Kumbh Mela, Nasik- Trimbakeshwar Simhastha and Ujjain Simhastha. Pilgrims come here to bath in rivers and worship Hindu deities. It is also believed that bathing in holy water removes sins and give blessings.

Celebrate this Pongal with all your blessings come true!
Happy Pongal!

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#Pongal #HappyPongal #Pongal2019








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