From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Makar Sankranti
Mains level : NA
The President has greeted the people of India on the occasion of Makar Sankranti and Pongal festivals.
- Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan or Maghi or simply Sankranti is considered as the transition day of Sun into the Capricorn.
- Now the sun moves northwards in the Hindu calendar.
- Dedicated to the deity Surya, many native festivals are organized all over India.
- It mostly falls at the end of Kharif harvests.
Statewise festivals celebration
- Pongal: In South India and particularly in Tamil Nadu, it’s the festival of Pongal which is being celebrated over 4 days at harvest time.
- Lohri: It is celebrated in North India particularly in Punjab as a traditional winter folk festival or as a popular harvest festival of farmers.
- Bhogi: In Andhra Pradesh, it is celebrated as a four day festival with a bonfire with logs of wood, other solid-fuels, and wooden furniture at home that are no longer useful.
- Magha Bihu: In Assam and many parts of the North East, the festival of Magha Bihu is celebrated. It sees the first harvest of the season being offered to the gods along with prayers for peace and prosperity.
- Uttarayan: Gujarat celebrates it in the form of the convivial kite festival of Uttarayan.
- Saaji: In Shimla District of Himachal Pradesh, Makara Sankranti is known as Magha Saaji. Saaji is the Pahari word for Sankranti, start of the new month. Hence this day marks the start of the month of Magha.
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