Festival of harvest Makar Sankranti is being celebrated across the country today. The festival is seen as a celebration of the end of the winter solstice month and also marks the end of the winter harvest. The festival is known with different names in different parts of the country. It is celebrated as Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Uttarayan in Gujarat, Bihu in Assam, Makara Vilakku in Kerala and Poush Sangkranti in West Bengal.
Makara Sankranti or simply Sankranti is a festival day in the Hindu calendar, dedicated to the deity Surya (sun). It is observed each year in the lunar month of Magha which corresponds with the month of January as per the Gregorian calendar and is a day the people of India and Nepal celebrate their harvest. It marks the first day of the sun's transit into Makara rashi (Capricorn), marking the end of the month with the winter solstice and the start of longer days.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have extended their greetings and wishes to the citizens on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Bihu, Uttarayan and Paush Parva. In a tweet message, President Kovind wished that these festivals may strengthen the bond of love, affection and harmony in our society and increase prosperity and happiness in the country.
Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu said that these festivals are known for their colourfulness and symbolise good harvest and bountifulness of nature.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished that the Uttarayan surya may infuse new energy and enthusiasm in everyone's life. Greeting everyone on the occasion of Pongal, especially people from the state of Tamil Nadu, Mr. Modi said that the festival showcases the best of Tamil culture. He wished that these festivals may inspire us to live in harmony with nature and further the spirit of compassion.