Our country is a land of cultural diversity as people across India celebrate various festivals in full swing. Beginning with Makar Sankranti, the festive season in January picks up speed and festive mood and vibes.

Country celebrates Bihu, Lohri, Uttarayan, Makar Sankranti and Pongal

Country celebrates Bihu, Lohri, Uttarayan, Makar Sankranti, and Pongal (YouTube)

The first festival of the year occurs on the day the sun enters Makara (Capricorn), which symbolizes the beginning of longer days and the conclusion of the month marked by the winter solstice. This historic occasion is remembered in most of the states of India through various rituals and festivals with varied names. Let’s have a look at the most common festivals of January!

  • Makar Sankranti in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Bihar & Jharkhand

Hindus celebrate Makar Sankranti, a day devoted to honoring Lord Surya on 15 January. The celebration commemorates the moment the sun enters Makara Rashi. It occurs every year on January 14 according to the solar calendar. A new harvest season and the end of winter are also marked by the festivity. It has a religious and seasonal significance. In the Hindu calendar, it is regarded as one of the most fortunate days.

Makar Sankranti celebrations

Makar Sankranti festival celebrations (HerZindagi)

The traditional breakfast during the festival is chuda-dahi (beaten rice and yoghurt with a bit of jaggery), which is cooked in a variety of ways by local households. Tilkut is a delicacy produced specifically for Makar Sankranti that is known as sakraat in Bihar and Jharkhand. In Odisha, a typical lunch consists of dalma, rice or khichdi, dahi pakhola, poda pitha, rasabali, etc. The four accompaniments “chaar yaar” (roasted potatoes, ghee, papad, and achaar) are frequently served with khichdi (pickle) that is served in many homes of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka. 

  • Uttarayan in Gujarat

Gujarat celebrates Uttrayan on January 14 and 15. During this delightful holiday, people fly lovely kites with their families and take individual and group pictures on the terrace while enjoying the festivities.

Of course, music is a necessary element of enjoying Uttrayan. Playing the newest Bollywood remix and Hindi songs from the kite-flying related movies, loud music from speakers only serves to amp up the energy. This might turn into a dancing party with friends and family on the terrace.

Happy Uttarayan

Uttarayan celebrations in Gujarat (Gir Forest)

It’s impossible to forget the tantalizing treats set out on the table in one corner of the floor. Delicious dishes like Til Chikki, Sing Chikki, Undhiyu, Sherdi, Bor, Mamra Laadu, Besan Laddu, and Adadiya are prepared at home by Gujarati mothers. Fafda-kadhi, jalebis, khaman-dhokla, patra, ponk pakodas, khandvi, and sweets are some other Gujarati delicacies. As a result, people enjoy Gujarati snacks in addition to flying kites.

  • Pongal celebrated in Tamil Nadu

Pongal is a great festival celebrated from 15 to 18 January in Tamil Nadu that lasts for four days. Day one in the family is spent replacing old items with new additions, while day two—clearly the most crucial—is spent preparing the festival cuisine.

Pongal celebrations in Tamil Nadu

Pongal celebrations in Tamil Nadu (Jagran English)

In order to announce the beginning of the harvest season, the locals also blast conch shells. While some communities also host Jallikattu, a festival for taming bulls, the third day is for feeding animals (this time, it is being held with the strict observance of COVID-19 protocols). Typically, the final day is spent with the family.

  • Magh Bihu celebrated in Assam

The celebration, known as Magh Bihu in some areas of Assam, commemorates the end of the harvest season on 16 January. On the day of the celebration, contests including buffalo fighting and tekeli-bhonga (pot-breaking) are held.

Magh Bihu celebrations in Assam

Magh Bihu celebrations in Assam (India.com)

Popular foods include rice cakes and laru, a sweet delicacy made with coconut. Young people frequently build meji, or improvised homes, to hold the feast before having them set ablaze the next day.

  • Lohri celebrated in Punjab

In Punjab, Lohri is a well-known occasion celebrated on 13 January among the farmers that mark the end of the winter crop harvest. In order to worship god and carry out rituals on the night of Lohri, bonfires are lit throughout the state by various communities.

Lohri celebrations in Punjab

Lohri celebrations in Punjab (The Financial Express)

Additionally, the residents dance the bhangra while enjoying the delectable kheer (rice cooked in milk). The festival also marks the start and end of the winter season.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Makar Sankranti, Uttarayan, Pongal, Bihu, and Lohri

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Sanghamitra Roychoudhary

Sanghamitra Roychoudhary

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A proficient Web Content Developer (Technical and Non-Technical Writer), Blogger, and Freelance Content Writer. A happy author of www.w3buzz.in! She is a creative person, always eager to learn new aspects, and seeking new ways for improving skills in her field. She loves traveling & photography; also, a sports enthusiast!
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Sanghamitra Roychoudhary