• People take a dip at the confluence of the Ganges River and Bay of Bengal on Makar Sankranti festivalReuters
  • People light a paper lantern during the celebrations to mark the Makar Sankranti festival in Ahmedabad.Reuters
  • Devotees prepare ritual rice dishes to offer to the Hindu Sun God as they attend Pongal celebrations at a slum in Mumbai.Reuters
  • A villager tries to control a bull during a bull-taming festival on the outskirts of Madurai.Reuters
  • Hindu devotees lead a cow tethered to a rope over a fire during a ritual to mark the Makar Sankranti festival in Bengaluru.Reuters

Makar Sankranti -- also known as Pongal in South India and Maghi in Punjab – is one of the most celebrated festivals of Hindus in India and Nepal. This year, the harvest festival falls on 15 January.

As part of the festival, devotees take a dip in the holy river Ganges to worship the Sun God and to purify their souls as Makar Sankranti signifies a new life filled with brightness. It also marks the arrival of spring season in India.

Pongal 2016: How 4-day harvest festival is celebrated by Tamilians

Although the Hindu festival is observed throughout India, it is known by different names. The festival is known as Makar Sankranti in Uttarakhand, Odisha, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Goa, Jharkhand, Manipur, Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Sikkim and West Bengal. The other regional names of the festival are as follows:

  • Tamil Nadu - Pongal, Uzhavar Thirunal
  • Gujarat - Uttarayan
  • Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab - Maghi
  • Assam - Bhogali Bihu
  • Kashmir Valley - Shishur Saenkraat
  • Uttar Pradesh and Western Bihar - Khichdi
  • Karnataka - Makara Sankramana

This year, IBTimes India provides you a platform to showcase your wishes and messages to your loved ones using the customised greeting card below:

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Check out some wishes, messages and picture greetings to be shared with loved ones on Makar Sankranti/Pongal:

  • I wish you to have a life filled with the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi and celebrate the festival with sweets and gifts. Happy Makar Sankranti
  • Let this be an auspicious festival for you with an overflowing of happiness, joy and prosperity. Wishing you the blessings of Makar Sankranti.
  • We thank sun for burning himself to save us. We thank plants for sacrificing their life for us. We thank all the creatures for helping us to live in this world. Happy Pongal to you and your family
  • Sending you warm greetings on the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti and wishing you life's best now and in all the days to come. Happy Makar Sankranti
  • Look Outside...It's so pleasant...Sun is smiling for you...Trees are dancing for you...Birds are singing for you...Because I asked them to wish you. Happy Makar Sankranti
  • May the beauty Of Lohri Festival season fill your home with happiness now and always. Happy Makar Sankranti.
  • Wishing that this festival will bring good luck and prosperity to you and your family. Wishing you a year filled with joyous moments. Have a wonderful Pongal.
  • As you celebrate Pongal with a lot of passion and cheerfulness, I wish you the greetings of the festival with immense joy and happiness. Happy Pongal 2016
  • Its time to enjoy the first festival of the year with full intensity and love. Wishing you the greetings of a prosperous, delightful and auspicious Makar Sankranti.
  • Here I am, sending warm greetings of the auspicious occasion of Pongal and wishing you to have a life filled with many memorable moments in all the days to come.
  • As you joyfully celebrate Pongal and welcome the harvest season, this greeting is being sent your way, to wish you to have a blessed year ahead. Happy Pongal my dear friend.
  • Here is an occasion to enjoy and to spread joy and cheer to the life of everyone you meet. May this festival of harvest season be the one that brings all the best things in your life and everything you deserve. Have a memorable Pongal festival.
  • May this festival fulfill all your life's wishes
    Its my prayer and wish
    That the cool warmth of bonfire,
    Delicious sweetness of gur and rewri
    Remain with you forever. Happy Makar Sankranti
  • Let the vibrant and colourful festival of Makar Sankranti/Pongal
    Brings in lots of happiness and abundance in your life
    Here's wishing you and your family a very happy Makar Sankranti/Pongal.
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