LOHRI, MAKAR SANKRANTI, MAGH BIHU AND PONGAL
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Context: The President of India, Smt. Droupadi Murmu has greeted her fellow citizens on the eve of Lohri (which falls on 13th January, 2023) Makar Sankranti, Magh Bihu and Pongal (which fall on 14th January, 2023).
- Lohri is a popular winter Punjabi folk festival celebrated primarily in Northern India.
- It is believed by many that the festival marks the passing of the winter solstice.
- A popular folklore links Lohri to the tale of Dulla Bhatti.
- The central theme of many Lohri songs is the legend of Dulla Bhatti whose father was a zamidar who lived in Punjab during the reign of Mughal Emperor Akbar. He was regarded as a hero in Punjab, for rescuing Punjabi girls from being forcibly taken to be sold in slave market of the Middle East.
- Amongst those he saved were two girls Sundri & Mundri, who gradually became a theme of Punjab's folklore.
- As a part of Lohri celebrations, children go around homes singing the traditional folk songs of Lohri with "Dulla Bhatti" name included.
- One person sings, while others end each line with a loud "Ho!" sung in unison. After the song ends, the adult of the home is expected to give snacks and money to the singing troupe of youngsters.
- Lohri also marks the beginning of the harvest season and sunny days.
- It is also referred to as Uttarayana, Maghi, or simply Sankranti, is a Hindu observance and a festival.
- Since the Sun is regarded to have moved from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere on this day in the Hindu calendar, the festival is dedicated to the solar deity, Surya, and is observed to mark a new beginning
- The festivities associated with Makar Sankranti are known by various names:
- Magh Bihu in Assam,
- Maghi in Punjab,
- Maghi Saaji in Himachal Pradesh,
- Maghi Sangrand or Uttarain (Uttarayana) in Jammu,
- Sakrat in Haryana,
- Sakraat in Rajasthan,
- Sukarat in central India,
- Pongal in Tamil Nadu,
- Uttarayana in Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh,
- Ghughuti in Uttarakhand, Dahi Chura in Bihar,
- Makar Sankranti in Odisha, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, West Bengal,
- Songkran (Thailand),
- Thingyan (Myanmar),
- Mohan Songkran (Cambodia),
- Til Sakraait in Mithila, Maghe Sankranti Nepal, and Shishur Senkrath (Kashmir).
- It is a multi-day Hindu harvest festival celebrated by Tamils in India and Sri Lanka.
- It is observed at the start of the month Thai according to the Tamil solar calendar, and this festival is celebrated usually on January 14 or January 15 depending on the Earth's orbit around the sun that particular year.
- The three days of the Pongal festival are called Bhogi Pongal, Surya Pongal, and Mattu Pongal.
- Some Tamils celebrate a fourth day of Pongal known as Kanum Pongal.
- It is a harvest festival celebrated in Assam, North-East India, which marks the end of harvesting season in the month of Magh (January–February).
- A bonfire (Meji) is lit for the ceremonial conclusion and prayer to the God of Fire.
- The festival is developed by the Tibeto-Burman and Indo-aryan cultures and festivals Magan of Kachari.