New Delhi: Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari on Tuesday conveyed his warm greetings to the citizens of country on the joyous occasion of Makar Sankranti and Pongal.
"I convey my warm greetings to the citizens of our country on the joyous occasion of Makar Sankranti and Pongal ," said Ansari in his message.
"The festivals, associated with the harvest season, and celebrated with gaiety and enthusiasm all across the country, symbolize the unity in diversity of our country," he added.
"May the festivals bring prosperity, happiness and harmony in everyone's life," he added.
The bonfire festival of Lohri will be observed and celebrated across Northern India today.
The people of Punjab and Haryna primarily celebrate Lohri to signal the end of the Winter Solstice.
This year, in Punjab and Haryana, the state governments and NGOs are going with the theme of saving the girl child.
During the day, children go from door-to-door singing folk songs in praise of Dulha Bhatti, a person with Robinhood image who robbed the rich to feed the poor during Mughal period. He also rescued girls who were being forcibly taken to be sold in slave markets of West Asia from the Sandal Bar region. He arranged their marriages with rituals.
When the bonfire is lit at sunset, people toss sesame seeds, gur, sugar-candy and rewaries. They sit around the bonfire, sing and dance to the beat of the Dhol till the fire dies out. Some people perform prayers and go around the fire.
This is to show respect to the natural element of fire.