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|by Dr. Kumarendra Mallick|
After three months' journey to south Sun turns to north on this day (Uttarayan). This day is celebrated all over India under diffrerent names: Lohri in Punjab, Haryana and all the northern states. People sing, dance and enjoy surrounding the bon fire. In Andhra Pradesh and other southern states it is sankranthi. It is in fact a three-day celebration: Pongal, sankranthi and kanumu. Young girls make flower arrangements - Rangoli- in front of the houses. There are several cultural programmes like dance, music. It is all to welcome the sun. It is a harvest festival.
In Orissa, Bengal and northeast states it is Makar Sankranti- the sun enters the Zodiac Capricorn. The country side go wild with celebrations, lovely foods to eat, rangoli arrangements and family get together. In Bengal many devotees take dip at the mouth of the Ganges, where the hemitage of sage Kapil is situated.
All along the course of the Ganges people take holi dips at Rishikesh, Haridwar, Varanasi etc. The same custom of holi bath is followed in river Godavari, the Cauvery and in the seas at different places. People do offer a handful of water to the sun.
On this lovely day let the warmth of sun pervade our hearts to warm up our inner beings, and in turn we make our lives and our society bubble with joys and happiness, light of wisdom and flames of love and peace. Happy Sanskranti to all.
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