Makara Sankranthi is celebrated in the month of January. It is one among the few Hindu celebrations that are celebrated every year on the same day (as per the Gregorian Calendar). Makara Sankranthi is celebrated on 14th January throughout India, to mark the shift of sun towards the North (Tropic of Cancer). The northward movement of Sun is called as Uttarayan.
Makara Sankranthi is celebrated throughout India and it is known by different names in different regions.
In Tamil Nadu, it is celebrated as Pongal.
In Kerala, it is associated with Sabarimala Pilgrimage.
While in Gujarat, it is known as Uttarayan, kite festival is celebrated in association with Uttaraayan. Not only in India but also in neighboring countries. it is celebrated with joy. In Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Myanmar also Makara Sankranthi is celebrated. It is a harvest festival related to agriculture. The Indian agriculture is based on the Solar calendar. Makara Sankranthi indicates pleasant weather.
Not only in India but also in neighboring countries, it is celebrated with joy. In Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Myanmar also Makara Sankranthi is celebrated. It is a harvest festival related to agriculture. The Indian agriculture is based on Sun. Makara Sankranthi indicates pleasant weather.
In Tamil Nadu, the Makara Sankranthi coincides with Pongal. Pongal is a four-day festival. The word ‘Pongal’ means overflowing and it is also the name of the sweetened rice cooked on this occasion. Rice cooked by adding jaggery and milk is called Pongal.
The first-day of Pongal is Bhogi. The Second day is the most important day called Thai Pongal.The third day is the celebration for cattle - Mattu Pongal . The fourth day is Kaanum Pongal.
The Season marks the beginning of the new phase in the movement of Sun. So it stands for a new start, which has to be welcomed by cleaning homes. Unnecessary and useless belongings have to removed. Bhogi Pongal is all about cleaning the piled up things and making homes ready for a fresh beginning.
Thai Pongal is the second day of Pongal, the festival usually coincides with Makara Sankranthi. The homes are decorated with Mango Leaves, turmeric, and other agricultural produce. It shows the agricultural abundance. On this day. “Pongal” is prepared outside the home in the courtyard. Tasty dishes and new clothes make the celebration special.
Maattu Pongal is the third day of Pongal. Pongal is a harvest festival that celebrates agriculture and allied activities. Cattle are the vital part of agriculture. They are the main source of organic fertilizer and they are farmer’s aid in farming. For Maattu Pongal cattle are bathed and they are decorated.
Kaanum Pongal is the last day of Pongal, which means “ to see”. Visiting neighbors and relatives is the main activity on this day. It was part of the social tradition to maintain the close-knit relationship among family and friends. IN Tamil Nadu It is even followed even today with joy.