Farmers' Biggest Day | Harvest Festivals and Makar Sankranti

The new year begins with a festival called harvest festival where farmers gather their crops and they celebrate it as festival called “Makar Sankranti.
As India is known as an agricultural country, so in this country “Makar Sankranti” is a big festival for all citizens. The word 'Sankranti' signifies the movement of the sun from one zodiac sign to Makara Rashi (Capricorn).

Harvest festivals typically feature feasting, both family and public. This is the festival of “Til-Gurr” where sesame and jaggery laddoos are distributed among families, friends and neighbours.

"Makar Sankranti" generally marks the beginning of the Kumbh Mela in Uttar Pradesh while in Kerala, One of the most ascetic and difficult pilgrimages of Shabrimala” ends on this day.

In some parts of the country, people celebrate this festival by taking a dip in the holy rivers flowing through states to cleanse themselves of sins and feast upon seasonal delicacies as a celebration of good harvest.
Makar Sankranti”, celebrated in almost all regions of India including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

This festival goes by different names in different states of India. Some festivals on this day in the different state of India are as follows :
Andhra Pradesh: They celebrate this festival for four days. 1st day celebrated as Bhogi”, 2nd day as “Makara Sankranti”, 3rd day as “Kanuma” and last day as Mukkanuma . People dispose all old habits, immoralities, attachment to relations and people light a bonfire with firewood, other solid-fuels and transform themselves.

Sesame Laddoo
Bihar and Jharkhand: It is celebrated as “Sakraat” or “Khichdi”. The delicacies include chura, gur (jiggery), tilkut and lai ,sweets made of sesame seeds such as tilgul, tilwa, maska, etc., curd, milk and seasonal vegetables. People start their day by worshiping and putting sesame seeds into fire followed by flying kites in flying festivals and eating delicious "dahi-chuda"(a dish made of rice, chuda or poha, in Hindi) served with a larger serving of curd.


Delhi & Haryana: One family visits home of other family and share gift with each other and eat delightful Churma of ghee, halwa and kheer. Sharing gift is called "Sidha" and “Manana”.

International Kite Festival
Gujrat: In Gujrat this festival is called “Uttarayan”, which lasts for two days. First day is called Uttarayan and next day Vasi-Uttarayan. The International Kite Festival (Uttarayan) is organized, which is the biggest festival of flying kites in Gujrat.

Himachal Pradesh: In H.P this festival is celebrated as Magha Saaji , is the Pahari word for Sakranti which means start of a new month of Magh.

Karnataka: This is the “Suggi” festival for farmers of Karnataka. Their ritual is called "Ellu-Birodhu. Here plates contain "Ellu" (white sesame seeds) mixed with fried groundnuts,dry coconut and fine bella (jaggery). The mixture is called "Ellu-Bella" and famous truism in Kannada is"ellu bella thindu olle maathadi".

Maharashtra: The first day of festival is celebrated as “Bhogi” , second day as “Sakrat” and final day as “Kinkranti”.In Maharashtra the people exchange multicoloured halwa (sugar granules coated in sugar syrup) and til-gul laadoo.
(Sweetmeats made from sesame seeds and jaggery). Gulachi poli/puran poli (flat bread stuffed with soft/shredded jaggery mixed with toasted, ground til [white sesame seeds]).

West Bengal: In W.B Festival is known as “Poush” Sankranti named after the last day of Bengali month in which it falls and called Poush Parbon. The fresh paddy, Khejurer Gur and Patali is used in traditional Bengali sweets made with rice flour, coconut, milk and 'khejurer gur’ and known as 'Pitha'. The Goddess Lakshmi is usually worshipped on the day of Sankranti.

Kashmir Valley: In Kashmir Valley the festival is known as Shishur Saenkraat.

Tamil Nadu: In Tamil Nadu people celebrate Pongal, Uzhavar Thirunal.

Assam: They celebrate this festivals as Bhogali Bihu.

This Harvest festival is not only celebrated in India but also in many countries on some other day with different names like :

Sri Lanka: Pongal, Uzhavar Thirunal.
Cambodia: Moha Sangkran.
Myanmar: Thingyan.
Laos: Pi Ma Lao.
Thailand: Songkran.
Flores de Mayo: Philippines.
Gawai Dayak: Sarawak, Malaysia and West Kalimantan, Indonesia.
Kaamatan: Sabah in Malaysia.
Kadayawan: Davao City, Philippines.
Khuado: Zomi, Chin State, Myanmar.
Maras Taun: Belitung, Indonesia.
Pahiyás: Lucban, Philippines.
Hasyl toýy: Turkmenistan - the holiday on the last Sunday in November.
Mehregan : Iran, Ancient Persia.
Sukkot: Jewish harvest festival lasting eight days in the autumn.
Alaverdoba: Georgia.
Bagach : Belarus.

Flying Kites
This year hope for a great festival of “Harvest” and “Makar Sankranti” and I hope that everyone should go as high as a flying kite and fly there with pride so that they can cut kites of difficulties, animosity, anxiety and evilness inside them. We should pray and applause for the Farmers of India so that we always have full of crops and food and share our happiness and sadness with each other.

About Author :

Vishal Singh is a web developer, blogger, dancer, fun loving and jovial person.
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