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Indian harvest festivals

Topics Covered: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Indian harvest festivals

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Harvest festivals celebrated across various parts of the country and their significance.

Context: The Harvest season is on and festivities have gripped the nation from the north to down south.

Various festivals being celebrated across the Nations:

Makar Sankranti: The festival of Makar Sankranti will be celebrated in Karnataka when the Sun enters the Makar zodiac and the days begin to lengthen compared to nights.

Pongal: In South India and particularly in Tamil Nadu, it’s the festival of Pongal which is being celebrated over 4 days at harvest time.

Magha Bihu: In Assam and many parts of the North East, the festival of Magha Bihu is celebrated. It sees the first harvest of the season being offered to the gods along with prayers for peace and prosperity.

Uttarayan: Gujarat celebrates it in the form of the convivial kite festival of Uttarayan.

Maghi: In Punjab, Makar Sankranti is celebrated as Maghi. Bathing in a river in the early hours on Maghi is important.

Saaji: In Shimla District of Himachal Pradesh, Makara Sankranti is known as Magha Saaji. Saaji is the Pahari word for Sankranti, start of the new month. Hence this day marks the start of the month of Magha.

Kicheri: The festival is known as Kicheri in Uttar Pradesh and involves ritual bathing.

Outside India:

Shakrain is an annual celebration of winter in Bangladesh, observed with the flying of kites.

Maghe Sankranti is a Nepalese festival observed on the first of Magh in the Bikram Samwat Hindu Solar Nepali calendar (about 14 January).

Sources: The Hindu.