Makar Sankranti is an ancient Hindu festival. It has thousands of years of tradition to celebrate this day. It has many names in different areas of India. In Western Indian states in it called as Makar Sankranti, in South Indian states it is called as Pongal, in Northern Indian states it is known as Lohri, in Eastern Indian states it is known as Poush Sankranti (poush Parbon), whereas in Indian state Assam it is named as Magh Bihu. Why makar sankranti is celebrated? This day indicates starting of longer daytime and shorter night. People harvest crops and celebrate this day with kites, winter special food, mela/fair, dancing, singing etc. There are certain makar Sankranti special food items what people share with family members and friends. Many people prepare best Poush Sankranti sweets at home too.
Best poush Sankranti sweets (makar Sankranti special food items)
Pitha are the most popular poush Sankranti sweets. There are a lot of types of pitha available in Bengali. These are mainly patishapta pitha, sarar pitha, puli pitha etc. All those pitha are traditionally prepared at many Bengali households during this festival. Though nowadays patishapta pitha is also available at local sweet shops. So busy Bengalis prefer to buy such pitha from those stalls instead of preparing it at home.
Another very special Indian dessert which is popular across the country. It has different names in the different regions within the country. It also has little variation in different parts of the country. In North India, it is called kheer, whereas in Bengal it is known as payes. This awesome dessert is also popular in South India where it is named as payassam. In Northern Indian states some people like meetha chawal which is also similar to this rice kheer. The recipe for payes or rice kheer is very simple. Rice & milk are boiled together to make this mouthwatering dish. Various dry fruits are also added to this dessert to make it more delicious.
Ohhh, is it something new? Did you never hear about this sweet before? But this joynagarer moa is an awesome sweet which is very famous in West Bengal, particularly in South Bengal. Joynagar is a small town in North 24 Parganas district, WB. It is Joynagar from where this sweet dish originated. It is prepared with nalen gur (date palm jaggery) and aromatic khoi (popped rice).
Chikki is a very famous sweet item in various parts of the country. It is mostly prepared with jaggery and various dry fruits or groundnuts. Peanut and jaggery made chikki is most common & popular item but many people also like sesame chikki, pistachios chikki, cashew chikki etc. So which one will your try as Makar Sankranti special food item?
Til ka laddu/Tiler naru
Many people also prefer til ka laddu as best poush Sankranti sweet item. Til means sesame seeds which are very healthy. Til ka laddu is prepared with sesame seeds & jaggery. You may have already been surprised to know that most makar sanranti special sweet items are jaggery made. Is it not true? Actually, during this season date palm sap can easily be extracted from plants which make delicious aromatic jaggery. So most people want to celebrate the makar Sankranti festival with date palm jaggery made sweet items.
Again another jaggery made sweet dish. It is actually Indian flatbread stuffed with lentils & jaggery made item. This is very delicious and many people in Western states (particularly Maharashtra) love this sweet item so much.
Makar Sankranti is also celebrated in South India too. They prepare this special rice, lentils & jaggery made sweet item (similar to sweet khichdi) to celebrate this festival.
Let’s have some namkeen too
Though most people prefer all those special sweet item on the occasion of makar sankranti but during this season most people also enjoy various types of nakeen along with hot tea or coffee. I also love methi mathri with coffee so much. Do you?
So this way Makar Sankranti is celebrated with a lot of happiness, flying kites, dancing, singing, sharing sweets & having various special food items.