Makar Sakranti

Makar Sakranti heralds the entry of Sun into Capricorn. Days start becoming longer and warmer and though spring is still some distance away, the unbearable chill seems to be getting over, especially in North. It’s also a festival of harvesting celebrated in Punjab and other parts of North India as Lohri, as Pongal in South India, as Poush in Bengal and Bihu in Assam. Thus, it has special significance for farming community too. Gujarat, Rajasthan and some other parts of the country celebrate the day by flying kites and competing with each other. Colourful kites adorning the sky is s treat to watch. Special food includes gur (jaggery) and til that’s loved by one and all. It’s also celebrated as new year in some parts of the country. Punjab also has a folklore around Dullah Bhatti, a Robin Hood type of Good Samaritan and in the earlier days, children would go door to door asking for Lohri in the name of Dulla Bhatti. I still remember the paean sung by children in the honour of Dulla Bhatti that goes like:

Sunder mundriye ho!
Tera kaun vicharaa ho!
Dullah Bhatti walla ho!
Dullhe di dhee vyayae ho!
Ser shakkar payee ho!
Kudi da laal pathaka ho!
Kudi da saalu paata ho!
Salu kaun samete!
Chache choori kutti! zamidara lutti!
Zamindaar sudhaye!
Bade bhole aaye!
Ek bhola reh gaya!
Sipahee far ke lai gaya!
Sipahee ne mari itt!
Sanoo de de Lohri, te teri jeeve jodi!
(Cry or howl!)
Bhaanvey ro te bhaanvey Pitt!

While the above is in chaste Punjabi not fully comprehended even by me, let me wish everyone happy Makar Sankranti in a more contemporary way, by quoting what my friend recently sent to me that says:

As Sun moves into Capricorn,

And winter starts receding;

Days start getting longer and warmer,

Farmers commence harvesting.

Makar Sakranti, Lohri, Bihu,

Or Poush as this day we call;

It may be new year for some,

But it’s happy occasion for all!

Happy makar sakranti, Bihu and Lohri to all!

7 thoughts on “Makar Sakranti

  1. Sir, Happy Makarsankranti, Lohri, Poush and Bihu…
    in my memory of Gujarat, Makarsankranti is celebrated with full 3 days on terrace with kite flying, eating Chikki, some new music with full sound, lanterns at night and observing color change of skin… 😊


  2. Dear Sir , I also wish Your goodself Happy Makat Sankranti and Happy Lohri. I have seen both Uttrayan and Lohri celebrations in my life closely. During childhood I was one of group member or a leader for Sundri Mundriye as this was Punjabi Mohalla and at night of 13th Jan large and big campfire used to cease the excitement of festival.Popcorn, groundnut and gur rewri were distributed , consumed. Later in year I enjoy kite flying while I was in Gujarat for 4 years. Your Goodself also remember lyrics, this was a fascinatingly interesting piece.


  3. Wishing you a Happy Makar Sankranti!
    It’s celebration in Bengal includes making of delicious sweets with jaggery and coconut fillings (called “pitha” locally)!


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