Here is why Makar Sankranti is celebrated:
After Lohri, comes Makar Sankranti. The day after is the festival of Makar Sankranti, but this time it is after two days from Lohri. The day is dedicated to worshipping the Sun. God of sun Surya is worshipped in Makar Sankranti. Also, it is celebrated for growing of Rabi crops.
People celebrate Makar Sankranti by singing songs, flying kites, and yes fairs in various cities in India is also organized. These are places in India where the festival is celebrated on a large scale and the market mostly remains crowded.
Below is the list of places where Makar Sankranti is celebrated on a grand level:
1. Haridwar, Uttarakhand
Who wouldn’t have heard the name of Haridwar? It is one of the most famous religious city of India which is situated in Uttrakhand. It has a renowned site Har ki Pauri located on the bank of Ganga River.
Haridwar is one of the pilgrimage sites that gains a massive tourist attraction throughout the year. Haridwar holds a massive Makar Sankranti celebration. Ganga Arti, which is held at the Ganga Ghat in the evening, is never to be missed on the day of Makar Sankranti.
2. Amritsar, Punjab
Makar Sankranti is also celebrated massively in Amritsar. Well, you might be aware of the Punjabi tradition, which is doing the Bhangra. No celebration is complete with doing Bhangra.
The celebration is followed by wearing traditional dresses, beating the dhol, and doing the Bhangra. This creates an energetic environment all around. People come out of their homes and exchange sweets made up of jaggery, peanuts, and sesame. Also, sing folk songs which are quite famous.
3. Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh
The city is a famous site for the Makar Sankranti celebration because the river Ganga passes through it. There is tradition to take a bath from any of the holy rivers on the festival of Makar Sankranti.
Ganga is a holy river following through Allahabad (now known as Prayagraj), and people bath in the river on the day. Kite flying is also seen as part of the celebration of Makar Sankranti. And yes there are kite flying competitions too during the festival.
The festival is celebrated as Ellu Bella in the state of Karnataka. People here believe in worshiping cows and bulls on the eve. Ellu Bella required the involvement of women of the marriageable age or married women. These women visit their relatives and distribute fruits, flowers, bangles, etc. Also, there is a tradition to distribute goods made up of sesame seeds and jaggery to neighbors.
5. Kolkata [Ganga Sagar Mella]
The festival of Makar Sankranti is famous as Ganga Sagar Mela in Kolkata. The people living in Kolkata follow a ritual, which is to take a bath in the Ganga river or Bay of Bengal. After they are done with taking a bath they visit Kapil Muni Ashram, which is located at Ganga Sagar. Ganga Sagar Mela is the second-largest pilgrims gathering in India after the Kumbh Mela.
6. Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Ahmedabad has a rich heritage of Gujarat. Makar Sankranti is celebrated dynamically in the form of a kite flying fest. People worship Sun and then come out of their home to fly kites. Societies make arrangements for the kite flying fest. You can see kites selling everywhere in the market. For a sight, you can consider the city as the city of kites for that particular day.
You may also like to read: Lohri celebration in India
7. Hyderabad, Telangana
Hyderabad also is one of the famous places to visit for the Makar Sankranti celebration. It is the part of India where the Makar Sankranti is a four-day event. The first day which is called Bhogi is celebrated by burning old things in the bonfire. People dance and sing around that bonfire. On the day of Sankranti, people buy new clothes, draw rangolis, cook chakra Pongal, and also paint their houses. The festival in the city of Hyderabad remarks on the worshipping of cattle.
8. Mysore, Karnataka
Mysore is one of the cleanest cities of India, which is famous for its heritage and vibrant culture. It is one of the must-visit places during the festival of Makar Sankranti. The celebration starts with the worshiping of gods and spirits for having a good yield, which is followed by distributing goods.
The goods are mostly sweets made up of jaggery, sesame, groundnut, and dry coconut. Apart from this, women go door to door, distributing bananas, Haldi, and kumkum. There is parade hear specially dedicated to cattle. How can one forget kite flying on the Makar Sankranti celebration? As seen in other parts of India, Kite flying here also is a big event and a part of the celebration of the festival.