makar-sankranti

Makar Sankranti or Ghugutia is one of the famous Hindu festivals and is celebrated with lot of zeal in Uttarakhand. According to the Hindu scriptures, on this day, the sun enters the zodiac sign of Capricorn from the zodiac sign of Cancer. This day marks the northward transit (Uttarayan) of the sun. The migratory birds also return to the hills, since a change in season takes place.

On Makar Sankranti people give Khichdi in charity and take a dip in holy rivers in Kumaun Bageshwar (Saryu and Gomti Sangam) and Ranibagh (Gaula). They also participate in the Uttarayani fairs to celebrate the festival of Ghughutia(also known as Kale Kauva).

During the festival people make sweetmeats out of wheat flour that is deep fried in ghee and shaped like drums, pomegranates, knives, swords etc. They are strung into a necklace and are worn by children on the morning of Ghughutia. They also sing to attract crows and other birds. Portions of these edible necklaces are offered in order to welcome the migratory birds back after their winter sojourn in the plains.