Makar Sankranti is one of the most awaited holidays that comes in the beginning of the year, apart from Republic Day. Makar Sankranti is celebrated with pomp and show in both the rural as well as urban India.
This harvest festival is a treat for the eyes, since it is a festival that is celebrated with the animals as well such as cattle. Makar Sankranti is a beautiful and an elegant festival, where people engage themselves in different activities on all four days of the festival.
There is celebration in the air with dance and music as well as treats in the tummy, which do keep one content and full. The one thing to look forward to in this Pongal festival is the purple-strong sugarcanes and the dazzling kites that fly high up in the sky.
Today, Boldsky shares with you some of the best ways you can learn more about this lovely New year festival, Makar Sankranti. So what are you waiting for? Take a look at these interesting facts about the Pongal festival 2016:
Why Is It Called Makar Sankranti?
Do you know why it has this special name? The history of the name goes like this - the name signifies the movement of the sun from one zodiac sign to another. This name of the festival literally means the movement of the sun into the sun-sign Capricorn, or in other words, Makar.
Why Is The Day & Night Long On This Festival?
It is said that on this auspicious day of the festival, the day and night is longer. According to science, it is one of the oldest solstice festivals and thus this falls on the equinox, which is the day and night, thus being a long day in the year.
How Many Names Does This Festival Have?
Makar Sankranti is extremely popular in the West of India and South of India. This festival is commonly known as Pongal in the South, and in the North of India it is known as Lohri. Uttarayan and Khichdi are some of the other names that are related to the festival.
Why Should We Eat Til (Sesame Seeds) On Pongal?
On the festival of Makar Sankranti, there are a list of foods that are distributed among friends and family. This festival, which has en number of names, is also commonly called the til-gul festival, in which this term relates to sesame and jaggery laddoos or chikkis. It is a common food that is widely consumed during this harvest festival.
Why Are Kites A Major Part Of This Festival?
Since this harvest festival falls in the winter season, there is a lack of sunlight, which means that more diseases and infections spread during this winter month. However, kite flying involves you to stay in the sunlight for a good couple of hours. Therefore, the reason behind staying in the sun and flying the kite benefits good health as you derive vitamin D from the sun.
Pilgrimages: Why Are They Important?
On this very day, pilgrims dip themselves in the Holy Ganga to cleanse themselves from the sins of their life. It is also believed that if you die during Makar Sankranti, you are not reborn again but go directly to heaven.