Makar Sankranti 2021 – History, Significance and Celebrations

The harvest festivals have commenced in India. We celebrated Lohri on 13th January and on 14th January India celebrated Makar Sankranti 2021. A traditional religious festival celebrated in different parts of India with vigour, joy, liveliness and with the hope of a brighter and happier year and life ahead. The positivity can be felt in the air with the new harvests from the fields, the aroma of the sweets prepared and the humming of the melodious folk songs and dances. I am also not an exception to the celebrations, eagerly prepared and served the traditional sweets of Makar Sankranti 2021.

The History – Makar Sankranti 2021

As per the Hindu mythology, Sankranti is the name of a Goddess. She killed a demon called Sankarasur on the day of Makar Sankranti. On the next day, she slew another demon called Kinkarasur and hence the day is named as Kinkrant or Karidin.

People also worship the Sun God on this auspicious day by offering sweets made of sesame seeds, jaggery and rice flour. The tradition is symbolic in erasing out pessimism and brightening lives with optimism. The first harvests of the season are offered to God as a mark of respect and to seek his blessings.

Significance – Makar Sankranti 2021

Traditionally, devotees dip themselves in the holy rivers of Ganga, Yamuna, Krishna, Godavari or Kaveri. It is believed that bathing in the rivers removes the sins from the lives of the people earning them purity. They also offer their prayers to the Sun God seeking prosperity, health and wealth. In the rural areas, people light bonfires and circle around them dancing and singing the folk songs of that region. Sweets made of sesame seeds, jaggery and rice flour are prepared and offered to the Gods. It is a festival of harmony and togetherness, instilling a feeling of unity and peace among the people.

The Celebrations

Makar Sankranti 2021 was celebrated in various ways in different parts of India, just like all other years but with minimal gatherings due to the COVID19 situation in the world. People indulged in kite flying with family and friends, a tradition being followed from generations. The sky can be seen adorned with vibrant coloured and artistically shaped kites flying high above and sometimes crisscrossing each other.

People wear new clothes to mark the commencement of the harvest festival. They prepare an array of sweets and prepare a special lunch and dinner at home. Guests are welcome and served snacks and sweets as customary traditions. Colourful rangolis (floor patterns) are created at certain households with flowers or coloured powders. In some rural areas, bullfights are organized as one of the sports activities.

Makar Sankranti 2021 welcomed the initiation of the melas or fairs in certain parts of the country; though the attendance was less compared to other years due to the strict norms of precaution. In the fairs, traditional and hand made crafts and paintings, household items, are sold. Representatives from various states of the country set up stalls to showcase their handicrafts, art and crafts, traditional instruments etc.

The Holy Gangasagar Mela

Another significant aspect of Makar Sankranti 2021, just like the previous years, was the famous holy Gangasagar Mela or fair held in the state of West Bengal. The fair is held in an island called Gangasagar or Sagar Island, situated in the southern part of the state. Devotees and pilgrims from all over India and abroad Nepal, Thailand, Japan, West Indies, Canada, and Australia arrive at the fairgrounds to dip into the Holy Ganges river and offer their prayers. You can experience the confluence of the river Ganges and the majestic ocean Bay of Bengal at Sagar Island. Other than the auspicious essence, Sagar island is a great place for tourism to witness nature’s incredible beauty. Watching the sunrise and the sunset from the lighthouse at the beach is something which you must not miss.

If you are planning to visit India during the winters, January is the best time for globetrotters who love experiential travelling. You can enjoy the festivals and get acquainted with the traditions and customs observed in different parts of India.

Admin and Author

Kuntala

A blogger interested in travelling and exploring new places and sharing ideas with all. Curious about the unique features of a place and its ethereal beauty.

Kuntala

A blogger interested in travelling and exploring new places and sharing ideas with all. Curious about the unique features of a place and its ethereal beauty.

25 thoughts on “Makar Sankranti 2021 – History, Significance and Celebrations

  • January 15, 2021 at 1:28 am
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    I loved reading about Makar Sankranti. I’ve never heard of this before, so it was quite a read! Thanks so much for sharing your culture with us.

    Reply
  • January 15, 2021 at 4:37 am
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    Thank you for sharing. I found the history to be interesting and appreciated learning about the traditions. Especially about the holy rivers and the belief that you’re removing sin by bathing in them. Also, the sesame seed treats look delicious! And the pictures are incredible.

    Reply
  • January 15, 2021 at 7:27 am
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    Makar Sankranti is a celebration I have heard about, having worked and gone to school with some people from India. It’s great to hear that COVID-19 didn’t shut down the celebration completely this year.

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    • January 16, 2021 at 1:17 am
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      I love any kind of celebration especially if I’m traveling. I get to se the culture and traditions of that place.

      Reply
  • January 15, 2021 at 2:12 pm
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    I love the photos. I love the gastronomy. Can’t wait to try the food soon.

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  • January 15, 2021 at 3:17 pm
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    Oh your posts always make me long for traveling, love the feeling your are giving!

    there a lot of different festivals in India, one more colorful than the other 🙂

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    • January 16, 2021 at 8:53 pm
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      I enjoyed reading your post. I miss the traveling vibes. Thank you for sharing

      Reply
  • January 15, 2021 at 6:02 pm
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    tourists would certainly enjoy being in Northern parts of India during Jan. there are festivals and celebrations all over and the climate is soothingly cool (maybe a bit freezing too)

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  • January 15, 2021 at 6:22 pm
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    I really enjoy reading your article. Aside from the beautiful content of it, I am actually learning about other country’s cultures and traditions.

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  • January 15, 2021 at 6:48 pm
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    I always find it so amazing to learn about other cultures and their celebrations. This was an incredibly informative read. I had never heard of the Sun God before.

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  • January 15, 2021 at 7:10 pm
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    Makar Sankranti is a new holiday to me. I love it though, the concept of meeting the new year joyfully and hoping for the best.
    If I visit India sometimes in the future (and I probably will) I’ll make sure to come at this part of the year, I want to escape the snow in Serbia.

    Reply
  • Pingback: Pongal 2021 - History, Significance and Celebrations | Kuntala's Travel Blog

  • January 15, 2021 at 10:21 pm
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    India looks like a beautiful place to visit, there’s so much culture there!

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  • January 15, 2021 at 11:37 pm
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    such a beautiful tradition! I wish I could see such gatherings one day, I hope I will

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  • January 16, 2021 at 12:38 am
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    I was not familiar with this holiday or celebration. It sounds so interesting, and would be a neat experience. It is nice to learn about these traditions in other cultures.

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  • January 16, 2021 at 12:46 am
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    Thank you for this great article with so much interesting information about Makar Sankranti and about the celebration in 2021. In January, India looks really attractive to visit with all the celebrations and fairs.
    Friendly greeting,
    Nina

    Reply
  • January 16, 2021 at 1:04 am
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    Happy Makar Sankranti di… You have written very beautifully and the pictures are great!

    Reply
  • January 16, 2021 at 6:10 am
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    I love harvest festivals in Europe. Would love to see those in India!

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  • January 16, 2021 at 4:29 pm
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    It was so interesting to learn more about your culture. Such wonderful traditions, foods and colors, thank you for sharing

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  • January 17, 2021 at 1:15 am
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    i always love cultural celebration. Makar sankranti must be be best fun celebrating with families and friends.

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    • January 17, 2021 at 3:18 am
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      It is indeed fun Angela and we celebrated this time also but in a minuscule manner

      Reply
  • January 19, 2021 at 3:25 pm
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    This is the first time I heard about this festival. I hope I can attend some Indian festivities after the pandemic.

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  • January 20, 2021 at 1:51 pm
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    This is interesting. This is the first time I heard about the Makar Sankranti festival and I learned something new today. It makes sense that we offer to God the first harvest of the season after all we owe it to God. Thank you for sharing this.

    Reply

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