Harvest Festivals Across India Syllabus: GS1/Art and Culture Context: |

Harvest Festivals Across India Syllabus: GS1/Art and Culture Context:

The Prime Minister greeted people on the occasion of Makar Sankranti and harvest festivals celebrated in different regions of the country with different names.

Makar Sankranti


∙ Harvest festivals mark the beginning of festivities every year in India and can be seen in different States of India.

∙ These festivals are celebrated at different times of the year due to different climates and cropping patterns, and are a moment to celebrate the food that has been cultivated.

∙ India being an agrarian economy, with the majority of its population dependent on agriculture owes their growth and prosperity to Mother Earth and nature.

∙ These festivals commemorate the cycle of life and death and also indicate the end of the agricultural cycle and the beginning of the end of the year.

∙ It marks the end of an unfavourable phase and the beginning of a holy phase.

∙ It is celebrated in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Himachal, West Bengal, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Puducherry.

∙ Kumbh Mela is one of the key attractions during this festival.


∙ It is primarily celebrated in Tamil Nadu, and is one of the most popular harvest festivals of South India.

∙ It marks the beginning ofUttarayan (sun’s journey northwards i.e. sun’s transit to the Capricorn).

∙ The literal meaning of Pongal is ‘spilling over’, and it is so called because of the tradition of boiling rice in a pot until it starts to spill.

∙ Jallikattu, a bull taming sport, is widely celebrated in the state of Tamil Nadu as part of Pongal celebrations.


∙ It signifies the end of the harvest season in India marking a time of prosperity for the farmers.

∙ It is celebrated as the new year by the Hindu community.


∙ It is a celebration of the commencement of the harvest season.

∙ Mainly celebrated in Punjab and other parts of North India by Sikh and Hindu communities.

Other festivities include

∙ Ellu Birodhu in Karnataka; Hangrai in Tripura; Poush Sangkranti in West Bengal; Pusna in West Bengal, Assam, and Meghalaya; Shishur Saenkraat in Kashmir Valley; Tusu in West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha; and Uttarayan in Gujarat; Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka & Telangana; Nuakhai in Odisha; Onam in Kerala; Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra, Karnataka & Andhra Pradesh, Khichdi in Eastern Uttar Pradesh and Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu in Assam.

Significance of these festivals

∙ Harvest festivals signify cultural, social, and religious aspects.

∙ The festival is celebrated to mark the beginning of the harvesting season in the country and is probably the only one that is celebrated in every region of India, on the same day, but in different manners and names.

∙ Sun’s northward Movement: It is associated with the sun’s northward journey.

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