||Date of Observance: First day of
Date & Significance:
Sankranti is the Sanskrit word in Hindu Astrology which refers to
the transmigration of the Sun from one Rāshi (sign of the zodiac) to
another. Hence there are 12 such sankrantis in all. However, the
Sankranti festival usually refers to Makara Sankaranti, or the
transition of the Sun from Dhanu rashi (Sagittarius) to Makara rashi
For this purpose, the signs and houses of the zodiac are calculated
using sidereal time, not tropical. As such it does not account for
the Earth's precession. The festival therefore takes place around 21
days after the winter solstice (between December 20 and 23) that
marks the starting of the phenomenon of 'northward apparent
migration of the sun' or Uttarayana, literally meaning northward
journey of Sun.
Considering the winter solstice marks the beginning of the gradual
increase of the duration of the day. Scientifically, the shortest
day of the year is around December 21–22 after which the days begin
to get longer, hence actual Winter Solstice begins on December 21 or
December 22 when the tropical sun enters Makara rashi. Hence actual
Uttarayana is December 21. This was the actual date of Makar
Sakranti too. But because of the Earth's tilt of 23.45 degrees and
sliding of equinoxes, Ayanamsa occurs. This has caused Makara
Sankranti to slide further over the ages. A thousand years ago,
Makar Sankranti was on December 31 and is now on January 14. Five
thousand years later, it shall be by the end of February, while in
9,000 years it shall come in June.
While the traditional Indian Calendar is based on lunar positions,
Sankranti is a solar event. So while dates of all Hindu festivals
keep changing as per the Gregorian calendar, the date of Makar
Sankranti remains constant over a long term, 14 January. Makar
Sankranti is celebrated in the Hindu Calendar month of Magha.
Makar Sankranti is a major harvest festival celebrated in various
parts of India. According to the lunar calendar, when the sun moves
from the Tropic of Capricorn to the Tropic of Cancer or from
Dakshinayana to Uttarayana, in the month of Pausha in mid-January,
it commemorates the beginning of the harvest season and cessation of
the northeast monsoon in South India. The movement of the Sun from
one zodiac sign into another is called Sankranti and as the Sun
moves into the Capricorn zodiac known as Makar in Hindi, this
occasion is named as Makar Sankranti in the Indian context. It is
one of the few Hindu Indian festivals which are celebrated on a
fixed date i.e. 14 January every year (or may be sometimes on 15
January (leap year)).
Makar Sankranti, apart from a harvest festival is also regarded as
the beginning of an auspicious phase in Indian culture. It is said
as the 'holy phase of transition'. It marks the end of an
inauspicious phase which according to the Hindu calendar begins
around mid-December. It is believed that any auspicious and sacred
ritual can be sanctified in any Hindu family, this day onwards.
Scientifically, this day marks the beginning of warmer and longer
days compared to the nights. In other words, Sankranti marks the
termination of winter season and beginning of a new harvest or
All over the country, Makar Sankranti is observed with great
fanfare. However, it is celebrated with distinct names and rituals
in different parts of the country. In the states of northern and
western India, the festival is celebrated as the Sankranti day with
special zeal and fervor. The importance of this day has been
signified in the ancient epics like Mahabharata also. So, apart from
socio-geographical importance, this day also holds a historical and
religious significance. As it is the festival of Sun God and he is
regarded as the symbol divinity and wisdom, the festival also holds
an eternal meaning to it.
Sankranti is celebrated all over South Asia with some regional
variations. It is known by different names and celebrated with
different customs in different parts of the country.
In India it is known by different regional names
Makar Sankranti or Sankranti - Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Goa,
Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Orissa,
Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.
Uttarayan - Gujarat and Rajasthan
Maghi - Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab
Pongal - Tamil Nadu
Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu - Assam Valley
Shishur Saenkraat - Kashmir Valley
Makara Vilakku Festival - Kerala
Khichdi - Uttar Pradesh
In other countries too the day is celebrated but under different
names and in different ways
Tharu people - Maghi
Other people - Maghe Sankranti or Maghe Sakrati
In Thailand - สงกรานต์ Songkran
In Laos - Pi Ma Lao
In Myanmar - Thingyan
In Cambodia - Moha Sangkran
Scriptural and cultural significance
According to the Puranas, on this day Surya(Sun) visits the
house of his son Shani(Saturn), who is the lord of the Makar
rashi(Zodiac Capricorn). Though the father and son duo did not get
along well, the Surya made it a point to meet his son on this day.
He, in fact, comes to his son’s house, for a month. This day thus
symbolizes the importance of the special relationship between father
From Makar Sankranti starts the ‘day’ of devatas(Gods), while
dakshinayana (southward movement of the sun) is said to be the
‘night’ of devatas, so most of the auspicious things are done during
this time. Uttarayana is also called as Devayana, and the
dakshinayana' is called Pitrayana.
It was on this day when Lord Vishnu ended the ever increasing terror
of the Asuras(Demons) by finishing them off and burying their heads
under the Mandara Parvata. So this occasion also represents the end
of 'negativities' and beginning of an era of righteous living.
Maharaja Bhagiratha, performed great penance to bring Ganga down to
the earth for the redemption of 60,000 sons of Maharaj Sagar, who
were burnt to ashes at the Kapil Muni Ashram, near the present day
Ganga Sagar. It was on this day that Bhagirath finally did
tarpan[clarification needed] with the Ganges water for his
unfortunate ancestors and thereby liberated them from the curse.
After visiting the Pataala(underworld) for the redemption of the
curse of Bhagirath’s ancestors the Ganges finally merged into the
sea. A very big Ganga Sagar Mela is organized every year on this day
at the confluence of River Ganges and the Bay of Bengal. Thousands
of Hindus take a dip in the water and perform tarpan for their
Another well-known reference of this day came when the great
grand-sire of Mahabharata fame, Bhishma, declared his intent to
leave his mortal coil on this day. He had the boon of
Ichha-Mrityu(death at his will) from his father, so he kept lying on
the bed of arrows till this day and then left his mortal coil on
Makar Sankranti day. It is believed that the person, who dies during
the period of Uttarayana, becomes free from transmigration(rebirth).
So this day was seen as a definite auspicious day to start a journey
or endeavours to the higher realms beyond.
Sikhs celebrate it as Maghi. The tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh tore
the Beydaava written by 40 Sikhs and gave them Mukhti on this day.
These 40 Sikhs later came to be known as 40 Mukhtas.
After giving seven days of speeches before 500 Hindu scholars,
Jagadguru Kripalu Maharaj was named fifth Jagadguru (world teacher)
on Makar Sankranti Day 1957.
Traditions, rituals and celebration
Makar Sankranti is one of the most auspicious days for the Hindus
and is celebrated in almost all parts of India in myriad cultural
forms, with great devotion. Millions of people take a dip in places
like Ganga Sagar (the point where the river Ganges meets the Bay of
Bengal) and Prayag and pray to the Sun God (Surya). It is celebrated
with pomp in southern parts of India as Pongal, and in Punjab as
In the western Indian state of Gujarat, the celebrations are even
bigger. People offer thousands of their colorful oblations to the
Sun in the form of beautiful kites. The act stands as a metaphor for
reaching to their beloved God, the one who represents the best. In
the rural and coastal areas, cock fights are held and is a prominent
event of the festival. Makara Sankranti is also to honour, worship
and to pay respect to Saraswati (Goddess of Knowledge). At the start
of this significant event, there is also worship for the departed
Makara Sankranti identifies a period of enlightenment, peace,
prosperity and happiness followed by a period of darkness, ignorance
and viciousness with immense sorrow. The six months of northern
movement of the sun is followed by six months of southern movement.
Since the festival is celebrated in mid winter, food prepared for
this festival is such that it keeps the body warm and gives high
energy. Laddu of til made with Jaggery is a specialty of the
festival. In the western Indian state of Maharashtra it is called 'Tilgul'.
In Karnataka it is called 'Yellu-Bella'. In some states cattle are
decorated with various colours and are made to jump over a bon-fire.
It is celebrated differently in different regions of India.
Thorny Bushes being drawn by a village boy for Bhogi festival In
a small village in Telangana
The festival, Sankranti (మకర సంక్రాంతి), is celebrated for four days
in Andhra Pradesh as below:
Day 1 - Bhogi
Day 2 - Makara Sankranti (Pedda Panduga)
Day 3 - Kanuma
Day 4 - Mukkanuma
The day preceding Makara Sankranti is called Bhogi(భోగి) and this is
when people discard old and derelict things and concentrate on new
things causing change or transformation. At dawn people light a
bonfire with logs of wood, other solid-fuels and wooden furniture at
home that are no longer useful. The disposal of derelict things is
where all old habits, the vices, attachment to relations and
materials things are sacrificed in the sacrificial fire of the
knowledge of Rudra, known as the "Rudra Gita Gyan Yagya. It
represents realization, transformation and purification of the soul
by imbibing and inculcating divine virtues.
In many families, infants and children (usually less than three
years old) are showered with fruit called "Regi Pandlu", that is the
Indian jujube fruit. It is believed that doing this would protect
the children from evil eye. Sweets in generous quantities are
prepared and distributed. It is a time for families to congregate.
Brothers pay special tribute to their married sisters by giving
gifts as affirmation of their filial love. Landlords give gifts of
food, clothes and money to their workforce.
The second day is Makara Sankranti, also called "Pedda Panduga" (పెద్ద
పండుగ), which literally means "the big festival", when everyone
wears new clothes, prays to God, and make offerings of traditional
food to ancestors who have died.
On the day after Makara Sankranti, the animal kingdom is remembered
and in particular, the cows. Young girls feed the animals, birds and
fishes as a symbol of sharing. Travel is considered to be
inappropriate, as these days are dedicated for re-union of the
families. Sankranti in this sense demonstrates their strong cultural
values as well as a time for change and transformation. And finally,
gurus seek out their devotees to bestow blessings on them.
Kanuma Panduga (కనుమ) is not as widely celebrated, but is an
integral part of the Sankranti culture. Mukkanuma (ముక్కనుమ) is
popular among the non-vegetarians of the society.
People in Coastal Andhra do not eat any meat or fish during the
first three days of the festival, and do so only on the day of
Mukkanuma, whereas people in Telangana region observe only the first
two days as part of the festival. They eat rice cooked with Til
(sesame seeds) on the first day and eat meat on Makara Sankranti (Pedda
Panduga), the second day of the festival. For this festival all
families prepare Ariselu, Appalu (a sweet made of Jaggery and
Pumpkin) and make an offering to God.
This festival is celebrated in almost every village with adventurous
games in South India. Whether it is the cock fights in Andhra, Bull
fighting in Tamil Nadu or Elephant Mela in Kerala, there is huge
amount of illegal betting but the so called "tradition" continues to
play a major role in the festival.
Another notable feature of the festival in South India is the
Haridas who goes around with a colorfully dressed cow, begging for
rice wishing luck. During these days people from Hyderabad fly kites
from terraces of their buildings. Children and elders enjoy this
kite flying a lot.
In Assam, the festival is celebrated as Bhogali Bihu.
In 'Bihar', the festival is celebrated on 14–15 January.
On 14 January, it is celebrated as Makar Sankranti or Sakraat or
KHICHDI (in local dialects).As in other parts of country, people
take bath in rivers and ponds and feast upon seasonal delicacies as
a celebration of good harvest. The delicacies include Chura,
Gur(jaggery), various sweets made of til (Sesame seeds) such as
Tilkut, Tilwa, Maska, etc., curd, milk and seasonal vegetables. Kite
flying festivals are also organized, albeit on a small scale.
On 15 January, it is celebrated as Makraat (in some parts of the
state) when people relish special Khichri (Dal-Rice replete with
cauliflower, peas and potatoes).
This festival is considered to be one of the most important
festival. People start their day by worshiping and putting til
(sesame seeds) into fire followed by eating "Dahi-chuda"(remember
dahi-chuda is different than chuda-dahi, as in former dahi,i.e. curd
predominates over chuda,i.e. beaten rice or avalakki in Kannada in
amount) along with Tilkut and Lai.
Generally in morning people eat chuda-dahi ( dahi-chuda is favorite
of Brahmins ) with KOHADA(red pumpkin) ka bhujiya which is made
specially with sugar and salt combination without adding water in
it, with lots of LAI, i.e. laddus made of til, chuda, chawal(rice).
After such heavy diet it becomes next to impossible to eat lunch in
afternoon, so people spend time in greeting others, playing with
kites. In night special KHICHDI is made. "khichdi ke 4 yaar, chokha,
papad, ghee, achaar" some prefer to add many more side dishes with
khichdi like chatni, tilauri etc. Name of this festival is Khichdi,
because such grand and rich Khichdi is made only once in a year on
In the coastal regions, it is a harvest festival dedicated to
Celebrations in Goa closely resemble to that in Maharashtra. The men
hardly take part in the celebrations but it is the women folk who
Uttarayan, as Makar Sankranti is called in Gujarati, is a major
festival in the state of Gujarat which lasts for two days.
14 January is Uttarayan
15 January is Vasi-Uttarayan(Stale Uttarayan)
Gujarati people keenly await this festival to fly kites, called 'patang'
in Gujarati. Kites for Uttarayan are made of special light-weight
paper and bamboo and are mostly rhombus shaped with central spine
and a single bow. The string often contains abrasives in order to
cut down other people's kites.
In Gujarat, from December through to Makar Sankranti, people start
enjoying Uttarayan. Undhiyu (spicy, baked mix of winter vegetables)
and chikkis (made from til (sesame seeds), peanuts and jaggery) are
the special festival recipes savoured on this day.
In the major cities of Vadodara, Surat and Ahemdabad, the skies
appear filled with thousands upon thousands of kites as people enjoy
two full days of Uttarayan up on their terraces.
When people cut any kites they used to yell with words like "kaypo
che" or "e lapet" in Gujarati language.
In Shimla District of Himachal Pradesh Makar Sankranti is known
as Magha Saaja. Saaja is Pahari word for Sakranti, start of the new
month. Hence this day marks the start of the month of Magha.
According to the Hindu religious texts, on the day of Uttarayani the
sun enters the Zodiacal sign of 'Makar' (Capricon) from the Zodiacal
sign of the Kark (Cancer), i.e. from this day onwards the sun
becomes 'Uttarayan' or it starts moving to the north. It is said
that from this day, which signals a change of season, the migratory
birds start returning to the hills. On Magha Saaja people wake up
early in the morning and take ceremonial dips and shower in the
water springs or Baolis. In the daytime people visit their
neighbours and together enjoy Khichdi with Ghee and Chaas and also
give it in charity at temples. Festival culminates with singing and
This is the Suggi or harvest festival for farmers of Kaveri
basin of Karnataka. On this auspicious day, young females (kids &
teenagers) wear new clothes to visit near and dear ones with a
Sankranti offering in a plate, and exchange the same with other
families. This ritual is called "Ellu Birodhu." Here the plate
would normally contain "Ellu" (white sesame seeds) mixed with fried
groundnuts, neatly cut dry coconut & fine cut bella (Jaggery). The
mixture is called "Ellu-Bella" (ಎಳ್ಳು ಬೆಲ್ಲ). The plate will also
contain sugar candy molds of various shapes (Sakkare Acchu, ಸಕ್ಕರೆ
ಅಚ್ಚು) with a piece of sugarcane. There is a saying in Kannada "ellu
bella thindu olle maathadi" which translates to 'eat the mixture of
sesame seeds and jaggery and speak only good.' This festival
signifies the harvest of the season, since sugarcane is predominant
in these parts.
In some parts of Karnataka, a newly married woman is required to
give away bananas for a period of five years to married women (muthaidhe)
from the first year of her marriage, but increase the number of
bananas in multiples of five. There is also a tradition of some
households giving away red berries "Yalchi Kai" along with the
above. In North Karnataka, kite flying with community members is
also a tradition. Drawing rangole in groups is another popular event
among women during Sankranti.
An important ritual is display of cows and cattle in colourful
costumes in an open field. Cows are decorated for the occasion and
taken on a procession. They are also made to cross a pyre. This
ritual is common in rural Karnataka and is called "Kichchu
Makara Sankranti is celebrated in Kerala at Sabarimala where the
Makara Jyothi is visible followed by the Makara Vilakku
In the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand Makar Sankranti is
celebrated with great gusto. According to the Hindu religious texts,
on the day of Uttarayani also called Ghughuti(घुघुति) in Kumaon, the
sun enters the Zodiacal sign of 'Makar' (Capricon) from the Zodiacal
sign of the Kark (Cancer), i.e. from this day onwards the sun
becomes 'Uttarayan' or it starts moving to the north. It is said
that from this day, which signals a change of season, the migratory
birds start returning to the hills. On Makar Sankranti people give
Khichadi (a mixture of pulses and rice) in charity, take ceremonial
dips in holy rivers, participate in the Uttarayani fairs and
celebrate the festival of Ghughutia or Kale Kauva. During the
festival of Kale Kauva (literal translation 'black crow') people
make sweetmeats out of sweetened flour (flour and gur) deep fried in
ghee, shape them in shapes such as drums, pomegranates, knives, and
swords. They are strung together and worn as necklace, in the middle
of which an orange is fixed. Early in the morning children wear
these necklaces and sing "Kale Kauva" to attract crows and other
birds and offer them portions of these necklaces, as a token of
welcome for all the migratory birds, who are now coming back after
their winter sojourn in the plains. Wearing garlands of the above
eatables the children come out calling the crows with following song
on their lips:
bhol bate aile bor puwa,
Khale Ie Kauva bara,
mai ke de sunu gharo,
Ie Kauva dhal,
mai ke de sunu thai.
काले कौवा काले घुघुति माला खाले
ले कौवा बड़ा मकें दे सुणो घड़ा
ले कौवा ढाल मकें दे सुणो थाल
(Come dear crow, come daily you will enjoy eating bara and puwa.
Take the bara and give me a pitcher full of gold. Take the shield
and give me a golden plate.)
Multicolored sugar halwa surrounded by til-gurd (sesame and jaggery)
ladoos. These exchanged and eaten on Makar Sankranti in Maharashtra
In Maharashtra on the Makar Sankranti (मकर संक्रान्ति) day people
exchange multi-colored halwa (sugar granules coated in sugar syrup)
and til-gurd ladoos (sweetmeats made from sesame seeds and jaggery).
Puranpolis (flat bread stuffed with jaggery) are offered for lunch.
While exchanging tilgurds as tokens of goodwill people greet each
other with the words, "Til-gurd khaya, aani gord gord bola" meaning
‘Accept these tilguls and speak sweet words’. The under-lying
thought in the exchange of tilgurds is to forget the past
ill-feelings and hostilities and resolve to speak sweetly and remain
This is a special day for the women in Maharashtra when married
women are invited for a get-together called ‘Haldi-Kumkum’
(literally meaning turmeric and vermillion) and given gifts such as
utensil, clothes etc. Typically, women wear black sarees or black
coloured outfits on this occasion. The significance of wearing black
is that Sankranti comes at the peak of the winter season and black
colour retains and absorbs heat, helping keep warm.
Maharastra is also famous for kite flying on this special occasion.
In Orissa people prepare 'makar chaula(uncooked newly harvested
rice, banana, coconut, jaggery, sesame, Rasagola, Khai/Liaa and
chhena puddings for naivedya to gods and goddesses.The withdrawing
winter entails change in food habits & intake of nourishing and rich
food. Therefore this festival also holds immense scientific
significance. According to the Sun's movement, the days from this
day onwards become lengthy and warmer and so the Sun-God is
worshipped as a great benefactor. Makar Mela is observed at
Dhabaleswar in Cuttack, Hatakeshwar at Atri in Puri, Makar Muni
temple in Balasore and near various deities in each district of
Orissa. In the temple of Lord Jagannath this festival is observed as
Nabanki and 'Uttarayana Yatra'. In Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar,kalahandi,
koraput and Sundargarh where the tribal population is more, the
festival is celebrated with great joy. They have been celebrating
this festival with great enthusiasm. They sing, dance and enjoy.
Many tribals in our country start their New Year from the day of
Sankranti by lighting bonfires, dancing and eating their particular
dishes sitting together. The Bhunya tribals of Orissa have their
Maghyatra in which small home-made articles are put for sale.
In Punjab where December and January are the coldest months of
the year, huge bonfires are lit on the eve of Makar Sankranti and is
celebrated as Lohri. Sweets, sugarcane and rice are thrown in the
bonfires, around which friends and relatives gather together. The
following day, which is Sankrant, is celebrated as Maghi. Bathing in
any river in the early hours on Maghi is important. Hindus light
lamps with sesame oil as this is supposed to give prosperity and
drive away all sins. The Punjabis dance their famous dance known as
"Bhangra". Then they sit down and eat the sumptuous food that is
specially prepared for the occasion. It is traditional to eat "kheer",
rice cooked in milk and sugar.
This is one of the major festivals in the state of Rajasthan. It
is known as "Makar Sakrat" in the Rajasthani language. This day is
celebrated with sweets like Ghevar, Til-paati, Gajak, kheer etc..
Although traditionally flying kites is observed as a part of this
festival. On this occasion the sky in Jaipur is filled with kites.
People invite friends and relatives to their home for special
festival meals (called as "Sakrat Bhoj").
It is a four day festival in Tamil Nadu:
Day 1 - Bhogi Pandigai (Bhogi)
Day 2 - Thai Pongal
Day 3 - Maattu Pongal
Day 4 - Kaanum Pongal
The festival is celebrated four days from the last day of the Tamil
month Maargazhi to the third day of the Tamil month Thai.
The first day of festival is Bhogi. It is celebrated by throwing
away and destroying old clothes and materials, by setting them on
fire, marking the end of the old and the emergence of the new.
The second day of festival is Thai Pongal or simply Pongal. It is
the main day of the festival, falling on the first day of the Tamil
month Thai. It is celebrated by boiling rice with fresh milk and
jaggery in new pots, which are later topped with brown sugar, cashew
nuts and raisins early in the morning and allowing it to boil over
the vessel. This tradition gives Pongal its name. The moment the
rice boils over and bubbles out of the vessel, the tradition is to
shout of "Ponggalo Ponggal!" and blowing the sangu (a conch), a
custom practiced during the festival to announce it was going to be
a year blessed with good tidings. Then New boiled rice is offered to
the Nature during sunrise, a gesture which symbolises thanks to the
sun and nature for providing prosperity. It is later served to the
people present in the house for the ceremony. People also prepare
savories and sweets such as vadai, murukku, payasam and visit each
other and exchange greetings.
The third day of festival is Maattu Pongal. It is for offering
thanks to cattle, as they help farmer in different ways for
agriculture. On this day the cattle are decorated with paint,
flowers and bells. They are allowed to roam free and fed sweet rice
and sugar cane. Some people decorate the horns with gold or other
metallic covers. In some places, Jallikattu, or taming the wild bull
contest, is the main event of this day and this is mostly seen in
The fourth day of the festival is Kaanum Pongal (the word kaanum
means "to view"). During this day people visit their relatives,
friends to enjoy the festive season. This day is a day to thank
relatives and friends for their support in the harvest. It started
as a farmers festival, called as Uzhavar Thirunaal in Tamil. Kolam
decorations are made in front of the house during Thai Pongal
In Hindu Mythology this is the first of the big bathing days.
Over two million people gather at their respective sacred places for
this holy bathing such as Allahabad, Haridwar(Haridwar is now in
another state called 'Uttarakhand) and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
Kite flying in the rooftops of Varanasi
Kite flying is an inevitable part of the festival in Uttar Pradesh,
as with many states of India such as Gujarat and Maharashtra. Like
other places in India, the references to Til (Sesame seeds) and Gud
(Jaggery) are also found in the songs sung on this day
Meethe GUD me mil gaya TIL,
Udi PATANG aur khil gaye DIL,
Jeevan me bani rahe SUKH aur SHANTI,
MUBARAK ho apko MAKAR-SANKRANTI.
In West Bengal, Sankranti, also known as Poush Sankranti named
after the Bengali month in which it falls, is celebrated as a
harvest festival Poush Parbon (Bengali: পৌষ পার্বণ). (It always
falls on 14 January on the English calendar). The freshly harvested
paddy along with the date palm syrup in the form of Khejurer Gur
(Bengali: খেজুরের গুড়)and Patali (Bengali: পাটালি ) is used in the
preparation of a variety of traditional Bengali sweets made with
rice flour, coconut, milk and 'khejurer gur' (palm jaggery) and
known as Pithey (Bengali: পিঠে). All sections of society participate
in a three-day begins on the day before Sankranti and ends on the
day after. The Goddess Lakshmi is usually worshipped on the day of
Sankranti. In the Himalayan regions of Darjeeling, the festival is
known as Magey Sakrati. It is distinctly associated with the worship
of Lord Shiva. Traditionally, people were required to take a bath
before sunrise and then commence their pooja. The food that is
consumed consists primarily of sweet potatoes and various yams.
Millions of people take a dip in places like Ganga Sagar (the point
where the river Ganges meets the Bay of Bengal). Ganga Sagar
falls in West Bengal.
Many Melas or fairs are held on Makar Sankranti the most famous
being the Kumbh Mela, held every 12 years at one of four holy
locations, namely Haridwar, Prayag (Allahabad), Ujjain and Nashik.
The Magh Mela (or mini-Kumbh Mela held annually at Prayag) and the
Gangasagar Mela (held at the head of the Ganges River, where it
flows into the Bay of Bengal). Makar Mela in Orissa. Tusu Mela also
called as Tusu Porab is celebrated in many parts of Jharkhand and