Come January 14th and the popular festival of Makar Sankranti is welcomed with much excitement and gaiety.
Being one of the most significant harvest festivals, Makar Sankranti is celebrated all over the country with much fervour and zest, and with different names and significance.
Thousands of people offer prayers to Sun God while taking a dip in the holy rivers like Ganga. Many villages and small towns mark the day with amusive cockfights and preparation of delicacies.
Take a look at some of the places where the festival is celebrated with extreme eagerness:
In Punjab Makar Sankrani is celebrated as Lohri or Baghi. It is celebrated with bonfire and marks the end of winter solstice day. Lohri is celebrated as a significance to harvesting of rabi crops.
In UP, the festival is celebrated as 'Khichiri'. In Allahabad a one-month long 'Magha-Mela' fair is conducted during Sankranti. Apart from this, ritual bathing is also a part of celebration here.
Again, a huge mela marks the celebration of this festival near Ganga sagar. The festival is celebrated with common masses offering prayers to the Sun God and taking part in the mela.
Makar Sanskranti is celebrated in Gujarat with sharing of gifts among friends and relatives. Many Gujarati priests also offer educational grants in the form of Astrology and Philosophy classes. Kite flying is also a ritual that people follow here in this festival.
Celebrated as a four-day long festival filled with jovial festivities, Makar Sankranti in Tamil Nadu is known as Pongal. It is touted as a festival of thanksgiving to the nature and celebrates the harvest of rice, sugarcane among other cereals.