Sankranti in Different States in India
Makara Sankranti is celebrated in Karnataka with a ritual called "Ellu Birodhu” where women exchange “Ellu Bella” (regional delicacies made using freshly cut sugarcane, sesame seeds, jaggery, and coconut) with at least 10 families. At this time, this Kannada saying is popular - "ellu bella thindu olle maathadi" meaning 'eat the mixture of sesame seeds and jaggery and speak only good.’
Farmers celebrate as “Suggi” or ‘harvest festival’ and decorate their bulls and cows in colourful costumes. Farmers jump over fire along with their bulls, in a ritual called "Kichchu Haayisuvudu."
People celebrate Makara Sankranti in Maharashtra by exchanging til-gud as tokens of goodwill. The underlying thought is to forgive and forget the past ill-feelings, resolve the conflicts, speak sweetly and remain friends. Women come together and perform a special 'Haldi-Kumkum' ceremony.
Makar Sankranti is known as “Uttarayan” in Gujarat and is celebrated for two days. The first day is Uttarayan, and the next day is Vasi-Uttarayan (Stale Uttarayan). The Gujarati people celebrate it with -
- “Patang” - kites,
- “Undhiyu” - a spicy curry made with winter vegetables, and
- “Chikkis” - sweets made with til (sesame), peanuts and jaggery. They are a special festival recipe savoured on this day.
4. Andhra Pradesh
Makara Sankranti is celebrated in Andhra Pradesh for four days.
- Day 1 - Bhogi Panduga, when people throw away old items into the Bhogi (bonfire).
- Day 2 - Pedda Panduga, meaning ‘Big Festival,’ is celebrated with prayers, new clothes, and by inviting guests for feasts. The entrance of the house is decorated with “muggu” designs, i.e. rangoli patterns, filled with colours, flowers, and “gobbemma” (small, hand-pressed piles of cow dung).
- Day 3 - Kanuma, is very special for farmers. They worship and showcase their cattle that symbolises prosperity. Cockfighting was also held earlier, but now it is banned.
- Day 4 – On Mukkanuma, farmers offer prayers to the elements such as soil, rain, and fire for helping the harvest. People eat meat delicacies on the last day.
Makar Sankranti in Punjab takes on vibrancy, dance, and colours.
- Lohri is celebrated the night before Sankranti or Maghi. The people fondly sing the famous folk song “Sunder mundriye, ho!” and perform “Giddha” , a folk dance by women and “Bhaṅgṛā” by men. They dress in bright colours and dance in a circle around the bonfire.
- On Maghi, groups of children move from door to door, singing the folk-song: "Dulla Bhatti ho! Dulle ne dhi viyahi ho! Ser shakar pai ho!" (Dulla married his daughter off and gave a kilo of sugar as a marriage gift).
Makar Sankranti is celebrated in Kerala as thousands throng to see the Makara Vilakku (flame on Ponnambalamedu hill) near the Sabarimala temple when the Makara Jyothi, the celestial star appears in the sky.
The belief is that Lord Ayyappa Swami shows his presence in the form of this celestial lighting and blesses his devotees.
7. Bihar and Jharkhand
On the first day, people bathe in rivers and ponds and feast upon seasonal dishes (made with tilgud) as a celebration of a good harvest. Kite flying is, again, something to look forward too.
The second day is celebrated as Makraat, when people relish special khichdi (lentil-rice, replete with cauliflower, peas and potatoes), which is served with chokha (roasted vegetable), papad, ghee and achaar.