1. Blog

This Makar Sankranti, Will the Farmers’ Milk Boil Over?

Shipra Singh
Shipra Singh
Makar Sankranti
Makar Sankranti

The days have begun to get longer. The nights are getting shorter. The sun is shining brighter now, filling us with new hopes, more energy, and abundance. It is transiting into the Makara or Capricorn, beginning its new journey northwards (Uttarayan).  

Makar Sankranti is here.  This is one of the most auspicious festivals of India.   

India is an agricultural country. No wonder our culture, economy, and even our festivals revolve around agricultural practices. Makar Sakranti, that usually falls on January 14 or 15 every year, and Lohri, that falls a day before Makar Sakranti, are harvest festivals.  

It’s right to call them “the festivals of farmers.”  

They are celebrated during the harvest time, when farmers reap the benefit of their hard work in the form of abundant crop produce. They sell it and get money. So, they are filled with abundance at this time. They deserve to celebrate.  

This is also the time to pay gratitude for all the blessings in life. In America, people celebrate Thanksgiving for the same reason in November. We can say, Lohri and Makar Sankranti are the Indian “Thanksgiving” festivals. Farmers thank sun god, rain, nature, and farm animals that have helped them to reap the harvest.  

Different states, different names: the fervor is the same  

In Gujarat, the festival is called Vasi Uttarayan. In Punjab, it is called Maghi, in Tamil, people celebrate Thai Pongal, while in West Bengal and kerala, it is called Pousha Sankrant and Makara Vilakku, respectively. In Assam and North East, people celebrate Magh Bihu.  

The festival is also celebrated in other parts of the Asian continent, viz; Maaghe Sankrant in Nepal, Songkran in Thailand, and Mohan Songkran in Cambodia.  

Ingredients of abundance  

Ingredients used in the food cooked during these festivals are available in abundance at this time. Til (sesame seeds), jaggery, rice, moong dal, chana dal, ghee, milk, coconut, and dry fruits – they all signify abundance.  

The secret of til (sesame seeds)  

Til and gur (sesame and jaggery) produce heat in the body and are some of the best ingredients to consume during winter. They ward off the winter sluggishness and energize the body.  

Who doesn’t love til ladoos at this time! As you take a bite into this sweet delicacy, do you know what it denotes? Til mixed with jaggery carries a spiritual message: we are as tiny as sesame seeds in the Universe and as sweet as jaggery. So, it’s good to stay humble and sweet to make a mark in the world. Just like til ladoos make a mark in the celebration.  

The secret of milk boiling over 

The word “Pongal” in Tamil means “boiling over.”  

Basically, Sankranti is a 3-day festival. It starts with worshipping the sun god. In Tamil Nadu, people create a kolan, which is like a chariot. It is adorned with fresh ginger, turmeric, and sugarcane plants. They take a new rice pot or bronze pot, which is decorated with Kumkum and haldi 

The pot, filled with milk, is put on a boil.  

The milk boils over. This is regarded as auspicious. It signifies abundance and the fulfillment of family’s wishes.  

Thereafter, people add new rice and moong dal to the boiling milk until it is cooked properly. Then, jaggery is added. Finally, the Pongal dish is garnished with cardamom powder and dry fruits like raisins and cashewnuts that are roasted in ghee.  

People do not consume this delicacy immediately. First, they offer the dish to sun god. Now, it becomes the prasad. It is distributed to everybody.  

The secret of flying kites 

Kite flying is important on Makar Sakranti. States like Gujarat take kite flying seriously. The state organizes International Kite Festival. You can find colorful kites floating in the sky from morning. The idea behind flying a kite is to give thanks to God for everything in life. A kite soaring high in the sky denotes progress and the aim to reach the sky – to reach newer heights.  

Makar Sankranti is also a great time to set the year’s resolutions.  

Time to socialize, time to spend time with family around a bonfire. Time to turn away from darkness and to embrace light.  

Like this article?

Hey! I am Shipra Singh. Did you liked this article and have suggestions to improve this article? Mail me your suggestions and feedback.

Share your comments

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters