Makar Sankranti | 15 Jan 2022

Why in News

Recently, the PM has greeted people across the nation on the occasion of harvest festivals Makar Sankranti, Uttarayan, Bhogi, Magh Bihu and Pongal.

  • The festivals celebrate the hard work and enterprise of millions of farmers across the country.

Key Points

  • Makar Sankranti:
    • Makar Sankranti denotes the entry of the sun into the zodiac sign of Makara (Capricorn) as it travels on its celestial path.
    • The day marks the onset of summer and the six months auspicious period for Hindus known as Uttarayan – the northward movement of the sun.
      • As a part of the official celebration of 'Uttarayan', the Gujarat government has been hosting the International Kite Festival since 1989.
    • The festivities associated with the day is known by different names in different parts of the country:
      • Lohri by north Indian Hindus and Sikhs,
      • Sukarat in central India,
      • Bhogali Bihu by Assamese Hindus, and
      • Pongal by Tamil and other South Indian Hindus.
  • Bihu:
    • It is celebrated when the annual harvest takes place in Assam. People celebrate Rongali/Magh Bihu to mark the beginning of the Assamese new year.
    • It is believed that the festival started from the time when people of the valley started tilling the land. Bihu is believed to be as old as river Brahmaputra.
  • Pongal:
  • The word Pongal means ‘overflow’ or ‘boiling over’.
  • Also known as Thai Pongal, the four-day occasion is observed in the month of Thai, when crops such as rice are harvested and people show their gratitude to the almighty and the generosity of the land.
  • Tamilians celebrate the occasion by making traditional designs known as kolams in their homes with rice powder.

Source: PIB