Prime Minister Narendra Modi has greeted the people in the country on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, Uttararyan, Bhgogi, Pongal and Magh Bihu on 14 January 2022.
It is dedicated to Lord Surya (Sun God) and marks the sun's transit into Makara (Capricorn) rashi (zodiac sign). This festival is considered the most auspicious occasion and is one of the few Hindu festivals aligned with the solar cycle.
It marks the end of the winter season and the beginning of the harvest season when people worship new crops.
This is the beginning of the month of Magh in the traditional Hindu calendar.
Makar Sankranti is also associated with Uttarayan. According to Hindu belief, before Makar Sankranti, the Sun shines in the Southern Hemisphere and from Makar Sankranti day it moves into the Northern Hemisphere. That is why it is called Uttrayan.
However, scientifically it is not true.
The festival is mainly celebrated in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Maharashtra.
For people in South India, the year’s first festival is celebrated as Bhogi, which marks the first day of Pongal.
On the day of Bhogi festival, devotees worship Lord Indra, the god of clouds and rains, and seek his blessings for the abundant harvest.
Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated by the Tamil community. It is a celebration to thank the Sun, Mother Nature and the various farm animals that help to contribute to a bountiful harvest.
Celebrated over four days, Pongal also marks the beginning of the Tamil month called Thai.
The first day of Pongal is called Bhogi.
The second day is the main day of Pongal and is celebrated as Surya Pongal.
The third day of Pongal is called Mattu Pongal.
The fourth day of Pongal is called Kaanum Pongal.
Bihu is a popular festival of Assam which is celebrated thrice a year.
Magha or Bhogali Bihu is celebrated in the Mid-January. The festival marks the end of the harvesting season in the region. The Magh Bihu celebrations start on the last day of the month of ‘pooh’ in the Assamese calendar.
Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu, is one of the biggest festivals celebrated in Assam. It celebrates the commencement of harvesting season and is also regarded as the first day of the Assamese New Year.
It is normally observed in Mid April
Kongali Bihu or Kati Bihu is celebrated Mid-October or in the month of Kartik which is traditionally known as Kati. This Bihu is celebrated during the time of relocation of the rice sapling during the month of October. The granaries of the farmers usually remain empty during this time, hence it is known as Kongali (poor) Bihu.
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