People buy kites at a shop on the eve of the Lohri festival in Amritsar, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021.(PTI )
People buy kites at a shop on the eve of the Lohri festival in Amritsar, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021.(PTI )

Makar Sankranti 2021: Here's why kite flying is a major part of the festival

Happy Makar Sankranti 2021: Kite flying is also a major part of Makar Sankranti, although the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan indulge in this with a lot more enthusiasm.
By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Alfea Jamal
UPDATED ON JAN 12, 2021 08:39 PM IST

Makar Sankranti is a major harvest festival celebrated in India and is dedicated to the Sun God, Surya. It is the first major festival to be celebrated in India and usually takes place in January, this year the festival will be celebrated on January 14. Makar Sankranti marks the sun's transit into Makara (Capricorn) raashi (zodiac sign), with the sun moving northward this period is also known as Uttarayan and is considered to be auspicious. The harvest festival is both a religious as well as seasonal observance. While the festival is celebrated across India, different states celebrate the festival under different names, with their own unique traditions and festivities. The harvest festival is called Maghi and is preceded by Lohri in north India by Hindus and Sikhs. Makara Sankranti and Poush sôngkrānti in Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka and Telangana, Sukarat in central India, Magh Bihu in Assam, and Thai Pongal or Pongal by Tamils.

Usually, devotees take holy dips in rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Krishna and Cauvery as it is believed this washes away their sins. People meet their loved ones and distribute sesame and jaggery ladoos or chikkis, popularly referred to as til-gud. This symbolises that people must stay united despite their differences. Kite flying is also a major part of Makar Sankrani, although the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan indulge in this with a lot more enthusiasm. In Gujarat, people make kites in their homes months before Makar Sankranti, and the day is celebrated as the International Kite Festival in Ahmedabad and was started in 1989.

According to some beliefs, the tradition of kite flying was started so that people would be exposed to the sun which would rid them of the illness caused by winter. The sun's rays, especially during early morning or late afternoon hours is a good source of Vitamin D. It is also believed that people decorated the skies with colourful kites in order to thank the gods.

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In a first, a bird festival is being organised at the Mahananda wildlife sanctuary in West Bengal to provide an opportunity to enthusiasts to explore the forest and watch different birds, officials said on Monday.(Unsplash)
In a first, a bird festival is being organised at the Mahananda wildlife sanctuary in West Bengal to provide an opportunity to enthusiasts to explore the forest and watch different birds, officials said on Monday.(Unsplash)

First bird fest at Mahananda sanctuary from Feb 20

PTI
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 11:33 AM IST
In a first, a bird festival is being organised at the Mahananda wildlife sanctuary in West Bengal to provide an opportunity to enthusiasts to explore the forest and watch different birds, officials said on Monday.
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Students perform traditional Bodo dance ahead of 'Bhogali' Bihu festival, in Tezpur, Jan.12, 2021. (Representational)(PTI)
Students perform traditional Bodo dance ahead of 'Bhogali' Bihu festival, in Tezpur, Jan.12, 2021. (Representational)(PTI)

Magh Bihu 2021: Of Pithas and Meji, festive feels at home

PUBLISHED ON JAN 14, 2021 06:00 PM IST
Magh Bihu celebrations will be different this year with Assamese communities in Delhi-NCR sticking to smaller gatherings and relishing traditional feast at home.
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A devotee uses her mobile phone torch as she cooks a rice dish as devotees attend Pongal celebrations early morning on January 14, 2021.(Reuters)
A devotee uses her mobile phone torch as she cooks a rice dish as devotees attend Pongal celebrations early morning on January 14, 2021.(Reuters)

Pongal 2021: Kolam, rice, and prayers for a better year ahead

By Mallika Bhagat
PUBLISHED ON JAN 14, 2021 05:49 PM IST
With fun, food and frolic at home, Pongal celebrations in Delhi-NCR will be an intimate affair as the Tamil community prays to the Sun god for a brighter year ahead.
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People buy kites with drawings of farmers printed on them(PTI)
People buy kites with drawings of farmers printed on them(PTI)

Makar Sankranti: Colourful kites fill the sky, devotees take holy dips

ANI
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 07:48 AM IST
Makar Sankranti is also known as Pongal, Bihu and Maghi in other parts of the country and is celebrated every year on January 14.
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Devotees cook sweet dishes on the occasion of Pongal festival, at Dharavi in Mumbai, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021.(PTI)
Devotees cook sweet dishes on the occasion of Pongal festival, at Dharavi in Mumbai, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021.(PTI)

Happy Pongal 2021: Wishes to share with your loved ones this Pongal

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Alfea Jamal
PUBLISHED ON JAN 14, 2021 02:33 PM IST
Pongal 2021: This year the harvest festival will begin on January 14 and end on January 17. Here are some wishes for you to share with you loved ones this Pongal.
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Pongal 2021
Pongal 2021

Pongal 2021: History, significance and celebrations of the harvest festival

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Nishtha Grover, Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 14, 2021 11:35 AM IST
  • Pongal is celebrated with a lot of zeal in various parts of India, especially, Tamil Nadu and this year, it is being celebrated on January 14. Here's all you need to know about the history, significance and celebrations of Pongal in India.
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In a first of its kind endeavour in South Kashmir, a Taekwondo demonstration in the snow was held at a resort in Pahalgam in Anantnag district on Monday.(ANI)
In a first of its kind endeavour in South Kashmir, a Taekwondo demonstration in the snow was held at a resort in Pahalgam in Anantnag district on Monday.(ANI)

Martial art display held on snow in J-K's Pahalgam

ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 13, 2021 10:25 AM IST
In a first of its kind endeavour in South Kashmir, a Taekwondo demonstration in the snow was held at a resort in Pahalgam in Anantnag district on Monday.
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Each year, the festival is observed on the night before Makar Sankranti, in accordance with the solar part of the lunisolar Bikrami calendar.
Each year, the festival is observed on the night before Makar Sankranti, in accordance with the solar part of the lunisolar Bikrami calendar.

Lohri 2021: History, significance and celebrations of the mid-winter festival

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Jahnavi Gupta, Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 13, 2021 09:32 PM IST
Lohri 2021: Lohri is primarily celebrated in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent by Sikhs and Hindus. This year, the mid-winter festival is being observed on January 13. Here's all you need to know about its history, significance and celebrations in India
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Wish that the warmth of bonfire, the sweetness of gud and rewari on Lohri remain with you forever. Happy Lohri!
Wish that the warmth of bonfire, the sweetness of gud and rewari on Lohri remain with you forever. Happy Lohri!

Happy Lohri 2021: WhatsApp messages, Facebook status, quotes, SMS to wish Lohri

By Jahnavi Gupta, Delhi
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Happy Lohri 2021: Here are some WhatsApp messages, Facebook status, quotes, wishes, images and SMS to share with your family, friends and loved ones in celebration of the mid-winter festival of Lohri.
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Students performing celebrating on the eve of Lohri festival in Amritsar, Punjab, India on Tuesday, January 12, 2020. (Sameer Sehgal/Hindustan Times)
Students performing celebrating on the eve of Lohri festival in Amritsar, Punjab, India on Tuesday, January 12, 2020. (Sameer Sehgal/Hindustan Times)

Lohri 2021: Interesting facts, significance about the harvest festival

ANI
UPDATED ON JAN 12, 2021 08:43 PM IST
Happy Lohri 2021: Lohri, the harvest festival celebrated on January 13 every year, marks the end of winter and the time to harvest rabi crops.
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Magh Bihu 2021: Date, significance and celebrations of the harvest festival in Assam, India(Twitter/mi_hilly)
Magh Bihu 2021: Date, significance and celebrations of the harvest festival in Assam, India(Twitter/mi_hilly)

Magh Bihu 2021: Date, significance, celebrations of Assam's harvest festival

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Zarafshan Shiraz
PUBLISHED ON JAN 12, 2021 06:12 PM IST
  • Magh Bihu 2021: Like Lohri and Makar Sankranti, Assam’s Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu also marks the end of cold and harsh winter months and here’s all you need to know about the date, significance and celebration of the harvest festival in agriculture-based India
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Lohri celebrations have become more intimate this year amid the coronavirus scare. Those catering food at parties share the demand for vegetarian food has also gone up amid bird flu.(Sonu Mehta/HT)
Lohri celebrations have become more intimate this year amid the coronavirus scare. Those catering food at parties share the demand for vegetarian food has also gone up amid bird flu.(Sonu Mehta/HT)

Lohri 2021: Intimate gatherings, home chefs book veg orders more

UPDATED ON JAN 12, 2021 04:05 PM IST
Caterers share the demand for home chefs has increased as denizens prefer intimate gatherings this year, and preference for vegetarian food has also gone up amid the bird flu.
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Safety worries to spending capacity of people, the pandemic has affected it all. Dholwallahs share the limited number of bookings they have received amid the Coronavirus pandemic, this Lohri.
Safety worries to spending capacity of people, the pandemic has affected it all. Dholwallahs share the limited number of bookings they have received amid the Coronavirus pandemic, this Lohri.

Lohri sans dhol: Less demand for dholwallahs amid pandemic

PUBLISHED ON JAN 12, 2021 03:09 PM IST
Coronavirus pandemic has affected the livelihood of Dholwallahs, who share the limited bookings they have received this year vis-à-vis last year.
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Prayagraj: Children pose with kites at a shop in a market, ahead of the Makar Sankranti and Lohri festivals, in Prayagraj, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021.(PTI)
Prayagraj: Children pose with kites at a shop in a market, ahead of the Makar Sankranti and Lohri festivals, in Prayagraj, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021.(PTI)

Happy Makar Sankranti: History, significance and date of the festival

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Alfea Jamal
UPDATED ON JAN 12, 2021 02:34 PM IST
Makar Sankranti 2021: The harvest festival is both a religious as well as seasonal observance, and is dedicated to Lord Surya, the Sun God.
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Happy Makar Sankranti(Hindustan Times)
Happy Makar Sankranti(Hindustan Times)

Happy Makar Sankranti 2021: Wishes to share with your loved ones this Uttarayan

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Alfea Jamal
UPDATED ON JAN 12, 2021 01:16 PM IST
Makar Sankranti is dedicated to the sun god Surya and marks the first day of the sun’s transit into Makara (Capricorn) raashi (zodiac), it also marks the sun's northward journey and is called Uttarayan for this reason.
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