Makar Sankranti, Lohri, and Pongal- Relevance for UPSC Exam
- GS Paper 1: Indian History- Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
Makar Sankranti, Lohri, and Pongal- Context
- Recently, the President of India greeted citizens on the eve of Lohri (which falls on 13th January, 2022), Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Bhogali Bihu, Uttarayan and Paush Parva (which fall on 14th January, 2022).
Makar Sankranti- Key Points
- About: Makar Sankranti is a Hindu festival, dedicated to expressing gratitude to the Sun God and nature for their abundant resources and good produce during the winter harvest festival.
- Harvest Festival: Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan is also the harvest festival and is celebrated in North India, especially in Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh.
- Astrological Aspect: Makar Sankranti marks the entry of the sun into the zodiac sign of Makara (Capricorn) as it travels on its celestial path.
- Other names: Makar Sankranti is also referred to as Maghi, Poush Sankranti, or simply Sankranthi in different parts of the country.
- Rituals Performed: On the festival of Makar Sankranti, people take a holy dip in the rivers, offer prayer to Sun God as a part of Makar Sankranti Puja, and also donate grains, sweets, and til to the needy.
- It is believed that donation brings happiness and prosperity.
Lohri: Key Points
- About: Lohri is the harvest festival of Punjab and is widely celebrated in Northern India. Lohri is primarily celebrated by Sikhs and Hindus.
- Tradition: On this day, people offer prayer to God of Fire (Agni) and pray for prosperity and happiness.
- Harvest Festival: The festival marks the end of the sowing season of winter crops and welcomes the harvest season and farmers pray for promising harvesting in the season.
Pongal- Key Points
- About: Pongal is a four-day festival of the Tamil community, dedicated to Sun God.
- The Pongal festivities include Thai Pongal, Mattu Pongal and Kaanum Pongal.
- People celebrate Bhogi Pongal, a day prior to Thai Pongal.
- Harvest Festival: Pongal is celebrated for four days to thank Lord Sun for a good harvest season.
- Pongal Celebration: People decorate the house with mango and banana leaves, worship cows like God, paint horns with flowers and garlands, and also cook a plethora of delicacies.
Makar Sankranti, Lohri, and Pongal- Significance
- Celebrates Harvest: The festivals of Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Bhogali Bihu, Uttarayan and Paush Parva, mark the harvesting season of crops as the winter season ends and ushers in the spring.
- Preserving Environment: People enjoy the fruits of good harvest and celebrate these festivals which also underline the need to preserve our environment.
- Celebrating Unity in Diversity: It is not only an example of Indian diversity but also that of unity in the diversity of our country.