Makar Sankranti

Giving on a festival is considered auspicious. Giving on Makar Sankranti all the more so.

On one hand, it brings happiness and prosperity to the one who gives. On the other, it ensures that everyone has enough during the festive season and beyond. In Hindu tradition, there is no better daan than Annadaan—a simple act of kindness that translates to access to food for those in need.

When you donate to The Akshaya Patra Foundation, you ensure that children have access to daily nutritious mid-day meals and quality education.

Makar Sankranti – A Festival Celebrated Across India

Makar Sankranti is a major harvest festival celebrated by Hindus across India. It marks the transition of the Sun from the zodiac of Sagittarius (Dhanu rashi) to the zodiac of Capricorn (Makar rashi). Thus, the name Makar Sankranti. It also marks the end of winter and the arrival of spring. It almost always falls on 14 January as per the Gregorian calendar with the exception of a leap year when it falls on 15 February.

As 2024 is a leap year, Makar Sankranti will be celebrated on 15 February.

The term Makar Sankranti is popular in Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, West Bengal (or Poush Sankranti), Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. It is simply called Sankranti in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, whereas Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu in Assam, Uttarayana in Gujarat and Pongal or Thai Pongal in Tamil Nadu.

A joyous and vibrant festival, Makar Sankranti is celebrated by flying kites to the cries of Kai Po Che, lighting bonfires, singing folksongs, indulging in folk dances and visiting melas (fairs). People distribute til ke laddu, rice khichdi, puran poli, undhiyu, pongal, coconut chikki, payasam and other such delicacies to celebrate the festival.

Bhogi and Lohri

Across the country, festivities last for two to four days depending on the region. In Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Maharashtra, the first day of the four-day Makar Sankranti festival is known as Bhogi and typically celebrated by lighting bonfires. Similarly, in Punjab and Haryana, the festival of Lohri is celebrated a day before Makar Sankranti by lighting bonfires, singing, dancing and eating festive food.

Makar Sankranti with Akshaya Patra

A Bengaluru-based NGO, Akshaya Patra serves as the implementing partner of the Government of India’s flagship school feeding programme, the PM POSHAN Abhiyaan [formerly the Mid-Day Meal Scheme]. The Foundation serves nutritious mid-day meals to over 2 million children in 15 states and 2 union territories with the support of the Central Government, state governments, corporate partners and individual donors. Your donation to Akshaya Patra… a single act of generosity translates to yearlong access to nutritious food and quality education to children in government schools.

You can donate to Akshaya Patra online. Donations to NGOs registered under the Income Tax Act are eligible for deduction under Section 80G of the IT Act.

Celebrate Makar Sankranti with Akshaya Patra beneficiaries this year. Online donations by generous individuals such as yourself help us ensure their continued access to nutrition and education, thus paving the way for them to carve a bright future for themselves, their families and the country as a whole.

Together, let’s ensure that children in India don’t have to choose between food and education… let’s ensure that their dreams soar high like the colourful kites dotting the sky this festive season.

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