Happy Makar Sankranti or Pongal to everyone who is celebrating. The festival is celebrated as the beginning of the harvest season in India. It is one the few Hindu festivals which is celebrated on a fixed date i.e. 14th of January every year.
On the day of Makar Sankranti, the sun enters the sphere of Capricorn Zodiac know as Makar in Hindi. The term ‘Sankranti’ signifies the movement of the sun from one Zodiac sign into another. Thus, the name Makar Sankranthi.
The festival is celebrated all over India and is called by different names. Pongal in Tamil Nadu state, Makar Sankranti in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Sakraat in Delhi, and Haryana, Uttarayan in Gujarat, Maghi in Punjab, etc.
The festival is celebrated for 3 days in some parts of India esp in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu. Bhogi is the first day of Makar Sankranti (which was yesterday) and is celebrated in honor of Lord Indra, “the God of Clouds and Rains” for the abundance of harvest. On Bhogi, People clean and paint their houses. It is celebrated by putting a Bonfire with the unnecessary articles from the household and cow-dung cakes. People dance around the fire and enjoy the festival with family and friends.
The second day is Pongal, which is celebrated in honor of Sun god for prosperity. The festival is celebrated by offering sweet Pongal (the dish made with rice and jaggery) to god, putting Rangoli art in front of the house, distributing sweets and flying kites.
The third day is Kanuma, which is celebrated in honor of cattle, that are used for agriculture in villages. People eat non-vegetarian feast on this day. Bullfights and cock-fights are organized in some areas.
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