According to the Gregorian Calendar Makar Sankranti is celebrated every year on 14th January. There are only rare exceptions when the festival is celebrated on 13th or 15th January. Most of the other Hindu festivals fall on different dates.
It is a festival to celebrate harvest. In many parts of the country this harvest festival is celebrated with lot of activities. The great thing about Hindu festivals is that they promote social interaction. Makar Sankranti is no exception. In Maharashtra the festival is celebrated by exchanging sweets. Halwa and Til Gul Ladu are particularly prepared on this day. Gulachi Poli which is a delicacy a served during lunch. Gulachi Poli is a traditional Indian bread-chapati/paratha with a difference that there is filling of ground till, besan(gram flour) and lot of pure ghee. People greet each other with ‘Til Gul Ghya Ani Goad Goad Bola’- promoting better interpersonal relationship. Haldi Kunku is distributed among married women. The gifts of utensils, clothes and sweets are exchanged.
Makar Sankranti is also an auspicious occasion on which Sun God is revered. Millions of people take bath in Holi Rivers. Ganga Sagar where river Ganges flow into the Bay of Bengal is particularly popular.
In Tamil Nadu the festival is known as Pongal and is celebrated by preparing lots of sweets and Tamilian dishes. These are served on planten leaves. Another marked feature of this festival is that people fly kites in open spaces. Very decorative and colorful kites are made for the occasion. It is a wonderful festival where people participate with the enthusiasm and gusto.
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