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    Makar Sankranti Celebrations in Haryana and Pan India

    Makar Sankranti in Haryana, known locally as ‘Makar Sankranti,’ is a celebration deeply embedded in cultural traditions, weaving together familial bonds and seeking blessings for newlywed daughters-in-law.

    Makar Sankranti in Haryana

    The festivities commence with the exchange of ‘Bayna,’ a ritual where the bride’s family sends gifts like quilts, shawls, and money, symbolizing familial ties and expressing good wishes. This practice emphasizes the cultural importance of family unity and traditional values.

    The day unfolds with a focus on worship and rituals. A holy bath and Suryopasana mark the beginning, signifying the sun’s transition towards the northern hemisphere. Neglecting this ritual is believed to result in an agitated nature throughout the year.

    Makar Sankranti in Haryana is more than a festival; it’s a reflection of cultural heritage, emphasizing respect for elders, family unity, and blessings for daughters-in-law.

    The celebrations bring together communities, creating a joyous atmosphere steeped in the warmth of traditions passed down through generations.

    Pan-Indian Makar Sankranti Celebrations

    Beyond Haryana, Makar Sankranti transforms into a vibrant tapestry of diverse celebrations across India. Each state contributes its unique touch, adding color and richness to this auspicious occasion.

    1. Uttar Pradesh – Khichdi Sankranti

    In Uttar Pradesh, Makar Sankranti is named ‘Khichdi Sankranti.’ Special khichdi is prepared, offered to Lord Sun, and distributed as Prashad. The day is marked by kite flying, family gatherings, and the holy bath at Prayag in Allahabad.

    2. Punjab – Maghi or Lohri

    Punjab celebrates ‘Maghi’ or ‘Lohri,’ involving bonfires, songs, and dance. The festival holds special significance for new daughters-in-law and newborns, creating a vibrant and lively atmosphere.

    3. Assam – Magh Bihu

    In Assam, Makar Sankranti is known as ‘Magh Bihu.’ Villagers gather around Bhelaghar, offering prayers for crop prosperity. The festival is marked by communal dinners and traditional Assamese celebrations.

    4. Gujarat – Uttarayana

    Gujarat celebrates ‘Uttarayana’ with a grand kite festival. Colorful kites fill the sky, and traditional dishes like sesame seeds chikki and puffed rice laddoos add to the festive spirit.

    5. Uttarakhand – Ghughuti

    Makar Sankranti is famous as ‘Ghughuti’ in Uttarakhand. Unique rituals involve making garlands from food items, worn by children who invite crows to share the feast.

    6. Andhra Pradesh – Sankranti

    In Andhra Pradesh, ‘Sankranti’ spans three days, featuring discarding old items, rangoli decoration, and kite flying competitions. The colorful kites covering the sky create a breathtaking spectacle.

    7. Maharashtra – Makar Sankranti

    In Maharashtra, the festival is named ‘Makar Sankranti.’ Women exchange ‘healthy and kumkum,’ and families come together for kite flying on terraces. The day concludes with the lighting of sky lanterns.

    8. Tamil Nadu – Pongal

    Tamil Nadu celebrates Makar Sankranti as ‘Pongal’ for four days, involving rituals, rangoli decoration, and the preparation of a special dish called ‘Pongal.’

    9. Bihar – Dahi Chura

    In Bihar, Makar Sankranti is celebrated as ‘Dahi Chura.’ People donate rice, lentils, and money while enjoying special dishes made with sesame seeds.

    10. Jharkhand – Festival of Sweetness

    Jharkhand celebrates Makar Sankranti as the ‘Festival of Sweetness,’ featuring market decorations with traditional sweets, kite flying, and idol competitions.

    11. Goa

    Goa mirrors Maharashtra’s celebrations, with women exchanging kumkum and turmeric, families flying kites, and festivities accompanied by music and food.

    12. Kerala – Makarvilakku

    Kerala observes ‘Makarvilakku,’ focusing on the pilgrimage site of Sabarimala and the harmony between diverse communities.

    13. Orissa

    Orissa celebrates Makar Sankranti with fervor, offering prayers to Lord Sun

    In every corner of India, Makar Sankranti showcases the nation’s rich cultural tapestry, uniting people in the joy of traditions and the celebration of prosperity and good fortune.

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