Makar Sankranti and Khichdi celebration

Makar Sankranti is one of the few ancient Hindu festivals that has been observed according to solar cycles, while most festivals are set by the lunar cycle of the lunisolar Hindu calendar. The festivities associated with Makar Sankranti are known by various names such as Lohri by north Indian Hindus and Sikhs, Sukarat in central India, Bhogali Bihu by Assamese Hindus, and Pongal by Tamil and other south Indian Hindus.

Makar Sankranti is observed with social festivities such as colorful decorations, rural children going house to house, singing and asking for treats (or pocket money), melas (fairs), dances, kite flying, bonfires and feasts.
A shared cultural practices found amongst Hindus of various parts of India is making sticky, bound sweets particularly from sesame (til) and a sugar base such as jaggery (gud, gur). This type of sweet is a symbolism for being together in peace and joyfulness, despite the uniqueness and differences between individuals.
Makara or Makar Sankranti is celebrated in many parts of Indian subcontinet with some regional variations. It is known by different names and celebrated with different customs in different parts of the region:

Name of festival
Karnataka Suggi Habba, Makar Sankramana
Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala Makar Sankranthi
Chhattisgarh, Goa, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal and Jammu Makar Sankranti
Tamil Nadu Thai Pongal, Uzhavar Thirunal
Gujarat Uttarayan
Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab Maghi
Assam Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu
Kashmir Valley Shishur Saenkraat
Uttar Pradesh and western Bihar Khichdi
West Bengal Poush Sangkranti
Mithila Tila Sakrait

Hindus in other countries too celebrate this day, but under different names and in different ways.

Nepal Maghe Sankranti or Maghi, Khichdi Sankranti
Bangladesh Shakrain/ Poush Sangkranti
Pakistan(Sindh) Tirmoori

In Bihar and Jharkhand, the festival is celebrated on 14–15 January. On this day people of Bihar and Jharkhand made various type of sweets.
Some places in Bihar & Jharkand, there is a tradition to give “Khichdi” to their married daughters.
In this “Khichdi” parents gives new clothes, laddos, sweets made of til(sesame seeds) and gur(jaggery) etc.


Kassar Laddo(Made with roasted rice flour)

Tissi/Alsi Laddo
On 14 January, it is celebrated as Makar Sankranti or Sakraat or Khichdi (in local dialects). As in other parts of country, people take baths in rivers and ponds and feast upon seasonal delicacies as a celebration of good harvest. The delicacies include chura, gur (jaggery), sweets made of til (sesame seeds) such as tilgul, tilwa, maska, etc., curd, milk and seasonal vegetables.
The festival is one of the most important. People start their day by worshiping and putting til (sesame seeds) into fire followed by eating "dahi-chura", a dish made of beaten rice (chura or poha, in Hindi, or avalakki, in Kannada) served with a larger serving of dahi (curd), with cooked kohada (red pumpkin) that is prepared specially with sugar and salt but no water. The meal is generally accompanied by tilkut and lai (laddo made of til, chura and rice).
Chura Dahi
At night a special khichdi is made and served with its four traditional companions, "char yaar" (four friends) — chokha (roasted vegetable), papad, ghee and achaar. Since such a rich khichdi is generally made on this festival, the festival is often colloquially referred to as "Khichdi".


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