Originally it was posted here.
While me and my friend Debolina were talking to people of various regions about their way of celebrations, her friend Namrata told that a day before Sankranti they celebrate Bhogi when they eat some til ki Bhakra made of Jowar or Bajra along with winter vegetables, cooked specially for the day to serve as offering or (bhog) to their kuldevta.
Makar Sankranti is celebrated by the name of Poush Parbon in Bengal.It is called so as it is the festival (parbon) to mark the end of the Bengali month Poush…The day starts with the arrangements of special preparation of variety of sweets called as “Pithe” special for this occasion. These sweets are different from the regular Bengali sweets made up of milk, pithe are the preparation of rice, coconut and a special jaggery found in winter season called patali gur (jaggery from the dates-khejur)
The special delicacies are:-
- Patishapta-The pancakes made of rice flour stuffed with stuffing made of coconut and jaggery
- Siddho puli- A mouth-watering sweet which is the rice flour dumplings with the same stuffing of jaggery and coconut and is eaten with the date syrup
- Chitoipithe-These are pancakes made up of rice flour and is eaten with dates syrup or with a light curry of potatoes specially made for this.
- Doodhpuli-This is the sweet prepared on this day and similar to the payesh or kheer ,the only difference is that for this the puli(rice flour dumplings with stuffing of cocunut and jaggery) is boiled in the milk .
Apart from these common delicacies the various districts of Bengal have their own variations in preparation but mostly they are done with rice flour and some are with boiled moong dal. The pithe made up of moongdal will have pinch of salt and sweet taste as the outer covering of dal will be salty and stuffing will be sweet and these will be fried.
The patali gur (jaggery made from date syrup, is a special delicacy of winter in Bengal, usually the jaggery is made from sugarcane but prior to winter the slits are made in the date trees from which the syrup is collected in earthen pot tied to the stem and these syrup are collected and boiled to make jaggery called as nolen gur. All the sweet of Poush parbon is made with this nolen gur…
In Assam Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu celebrated on the last day of Pusyaand the first day of Megha. Bihu is derived from the Sanskrit word Visuvat. Piling up firewood to form a Maji (Temple-like structure) and setting fire to it is an important part of this festival. The whole day is spent in feasting, singing songs and dancing. Pitha, Laaru, khazoor ka gur are eaten all over the Assam. That day in the morning Assamese people take Jolpan (light meal) i.e.Chira or Muri. Traditionally Jolpan consist any form of rice eaten with mostly curd and gur.
Tamil nadu a down South state celebrate this harvest festival by the name of Pongal and the name of the festival is related to the very special sweet dish special for this festival called as Sakarai Pongal (sweet pongal).The farmers and common people wait for this day and celebrations are marked for four days begins with Bhogi the day before the Pongal, it is the day when they burn the old things and residues of crops , next is Pongal day, starts with early morning cleaning of houses and preparing pongal in courtyard. They arrange for age old practice of fire in bricks and cooking pongal in clay pot with sugarcane standing on four side guarding bricks and turmeric plant. The new rice is boiled with milk and jaggery and whole family waits aside, with the first boil of milk all says pongala -pongala to rejoice the cooking of pongal, they worship Family God with this pongal and whole family eats this as their first meal of the day. Next is the day of matu pongal followed by kanu pongal.The day’s speciality is linked with worship of cattle’s at house and ancestors along with having merry time with family and friends.
A tourist place of India, Rajasthan is known to celebrate the little and big occasion. Every occasion they have different custom and tradition. Uttarayan are celebrated as the new beginning of life in Rajasthan. It is symbolic to the start of a fresh new season by getting rid of the bad vibes of previous season. In the same connection kite festival is organised every year on 14th January in the various parts of Rajasthan. Mawa ki kachori, Ghewar, Malpua are the main attraction on the various shops. If you want to look for a good Rajasthani food always visit during their festive time. I remember when I worked in the Sun City of India, Jodhpur, I was invited by one of my Indian Chef Kanhaiya Lal to his house on Makar Sankranti and I was served with Dal ka pakoda and gur ka pakoda with chutney. They also prepared Namakpare, Sakarpara, Til Ke ladoo and Til Papdi. The Rajasthani celebrate the Makar Sankranti by donating their food to worthy Brahmin and other deserving persons. They also served same food to their domestic animal.
Jaipur is known to organise the International Kite Festival, which are organised from the many years on Makar Sankranti. The whole Jaipur city fall fluttering kites over the sky. This day, people enjoy and play kite, eat pakodas and til papdi, sing songs.
Gujarat also host International kite festival on the second week of January every year. My childhood friend Santosh Patel who lived in Surat after passing out from Kendriya Vidyalaya No-2, Bokaro, Jharkhand say,” Undhiyu, Puri, Jalebi and gur aur moongphali ki chikki are the main attraction on the uttarayan menu”. A winter dish undhiyu traditionally cook in earthenware and eaten with puri. Surti papdi, moothia, ripe banana, brinjal(Rawaiya), ratalu, sakarkandi, dana(batana and Tovar) simmered in coconut, Coriander(Kothamvir) , ginger, green chillies(marcha), salt and pounded spices .Here, celebration continue on the next day also known as Vashi Uttrayan.
Vedic knowledge says – ”Seven colours mix together to become an intense glow of white rays of the sun.” When flying a kite, our body comes in contact with the sun’s rays directly, which cure diseases in winter. To engage yourself in the sun light people start themselves busy with some fun activities like flying kite and etc. Kite widely known as ‘PATANG’ is signifies the spirit to fly high in the blue sky. It’s a family game where every age group people enjoy and wants to cut the more kite as they had put their best manjha(a type of paste) on the thread and preparation of it was not an easy job .
The largest state in India, Uttar pardesh celebrate the Makar Sankranti by taking a ritual bath in the river or home. After that people take a bowl and put kacha chawal, kali urad dal, namak, mirch, deshi ghee, kale aur safeed til ke ladoo, any one fruit, any one vegetables and some money and they sprinkle water around the bowl. Later they donate it to the Brahmin. After this ritural they make and have Khichiri and celebrate the new harvest season, this is also known as Khichiri Parv.
Magh mela celebrated at Prayag, Allahabad. It starts on Makar Sankranti and celebrated almost a month. Every 12 years the Magh mela become Kumbh mela.
The word Lohri originated from Loh and Aai, which means Iron foe. Lohri is a popular Punjabi community festival celebrated on 13thJanuary; the last day of the month Poh (Pusya). It marks the end of winter. People (Usually young members) collect Cowdung cakes from their neighbourhood and arrange them in a pyramidal shape in their courtyard. The elder women of the house set fire to it and offering are made into the fire. Traditionally, til and sugarcane are thrown into the fire. People collect ashes in the next morning and taken to their houses as a gift from the god. Lohri is associated with harvest festival (Rabi crop) in Punjab. Sarson ka saag and makai ki roti with makhan and gur are eaten everywhere in the Punjab that day. It is tradition to eat Til, Gajjak, Reori, Peanut, Gur and Popcorn in Lohri.
- Gajjak-Solidified sugar or gur cover with til comes in various shape and size.
- Reori-A sweet made of sugar/gur syrup paste, til, khoya and groundnuts.
REORI & GAJJAK
The next day 14th January is called Maghi, kheer is made in sugarcane juice is a special delicacy to savour.
Indians know the art of producing sugar from sugarcane. “Syakarah” means sugar in Sanskrit. Greek, Chinese, Portuguese, European learnt the skill of producing sugar from us.
Happy Makar Sankranti 2018!!!!!
Written by Chef Ashwini | Blog
The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel Tenure: Since December, 2015 Position: Chef De Cuisine Employment History: ITC Hotels; The Oberoi hotels; Carlson hotels, The Claridges Hotels and Kempinski Hotels Have part of the various pre-opening restaurants at different capacities:- 360 restaurant at The Oberoi; NTC at Park Plaza ; Dilli 32 at The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel. Birthplace: Bokaro Steel City, Jharkhand Education: Diploma in Hotel Management, Indian Institute of Business Management, Patna in the year 1994 – 1997.