It is no secret that India’s cultural heritage is richer than any other country in the world. A land of diversity, there is one festival that is celebrated throughout the Indian landscape, albeit with different names: Makar Sankranti.
Celebrated on the day after winter solstice, Sankrant is a Festival of Harvest. Known as Maghi in Punjab, Pongal in Tamil Nadu and Kicheri in Uttar Pradesh, the significance of this 2,000 year old festival remains the same – to honor the Sun God, or Surya.
Read on to find out a few fascinating facts about this upcoming festival.
1. Makar Sankranti is the only Hindu festival that follows the solar calendar, meaning that it falls mostly on the same date every year, i.e. the 14 th of January.
2. Of course, no Indian festival is complete without sweets! We consume til-gul, or laddoos of sesame and jaggery. Everyone is supposed to bury their hatchets by distributing these sinfully indulgent homemade sweets.
3. This festival marks the beginning of the Kumbh Mela in Uttar Pradesh, one of the biggest fairs in India, and probably in the world.
4. A lot of people celebrate this festival by taking a dip in the holy waters of Ganga River at the break of dawn, to cleanse themselves of their sins. It is also believed that if you die on this holy day, you are not reincarnated, and attain Moksha.
5. On Makar Sankranti, you can feast your eyes on the colorful skies, full of flamboyant kites against the blue backdrop of the winter sky. Kites are representational of the believers’ prayers being offered to Surya, the Sun God.
6. The end of Makar Sankranti officially signifies the beginning of the scorching Indian summer, and the end of the chilly winters.
Lastly, don’t forget to visit our stores this weekend and fulfill your craving for some authentic handmade goodness! Have a happy and safe Pongal, Maghi & Makar Sankranti!