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India: The Land of Harvest Festivals

“This culture of sharing is the most beautiful essence of Sankranti and it need not be confined to just the harvest. The festival of Makar Sankranti must remind us of the limitless blessings of the divine and we must commit ourselves to sharing with those who are less fortunate.” says Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, international religious chief and the founder of The Art of Living.

Sankranti is when the solar strikes from one zodiac to a different. Out of 12 Sankrantis within the 12 months, Makar Sankranti is essentially the most celebrated one because it marks the motion of the solar within the ‘Makar Rashi’ which basically means the arrival of longer days, because the solar strikes to the north of the tropic of Capricorn, in different phrases, ‘Uttarayan’.

The obvious motion of solar in the direction of the northern hemisphere additionally marks the onset of the harvest season for the winter crops and therefore it’s celebrated as a harvest competition so as to honour the winter harvest and thank the Sun God.

The day earlier than Makar Sankranti is the longest evening which is well known as Lohri within the North Indian states like Punjab and Haryana. A stupendous means that is performed is by honouring the meals by providing it to the fireplace and sharing the residual whereas singing and dancing across the bonfire within the lengthy and chilly evening. It can be celebrated by making khichdi in states of UP and Bihar.

Those mouth-watering sesame and jaggery laddoos are a speciality of Makar Sankranti many of us can’t wait to relish however do you know that consuming sesame and jaggery throughout this time is related to quite a few well being advantages this scrumptious mixture has to supply together with the heat it supplies to our physique because of its scorching efficiency? Not solely does it assist us keep lively within the chilly winter but in addition supplies many antioxidants and minerals like iron and calcium that maintain us wholesome and energized.

While Assam celebrates the harvest competition as Bihu, in South Indian states like Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, this era of transition is well known as Pongal, which is the title of the standard delicacy ready by boiling new harvest of rice with milk and including jaggery to it. Honouring and adorning cattle, particularly cows are additionally an essential ritual adopted throughout the celebrations of Pongal along with the preparation of conventional delicacies, and providing them to the almighty.

(The creator is a author with The Art of Living organisation)

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