The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has greeted the nation on the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti and Pongal.In a message, VP paid tribute to the farmers for their relentless toil and said, “let us all resolve to return to our roots and protect our glorious culture, traditions, customs, arts and festivals.”
“I extend my warm greetings and best wishes to all our citizens on the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti and Pongal. The harvest festival signifies the beginning of Uttarayan and is dedicated to Sun God who is regarded as the symbol divinity and wisdom.
Throughout India, people celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm. It is celebrated in different names in different parts of the country. In south India, it is popularly called as “Pongal & ‘Makar Sankranti’, ‘Vishu’ in Kerala, in Punjab and Haryana it is called ‘Lohri’, in Assam, it is called ‘Bihu’ and ‘Khichdi festival’ in Bihar.
This festival called by different names marks the beginning of a new season with thousands of people taking holy dips in sacred rivers. It basically celebrates the bounty of nature and is symbolized by the expression of profound gratitude to nature for nourishing and sustaining life.
Pongal festival is associated with agriculture and harvesting of the crops. It is marked by worshipping the Sun God and decorating the bullocks, ploughs and sickles. A special puja is performed on the first day and farmers cut the newly harvested paddy with the consecrated tools.
Festivals are an inherent part of our great civilization and have a strong association with nature. They promote the message of togetherness, love, and brotherhood and are the occasions for families and their dear and near ones to come together and celebrate them.
On this auspicious occasion, let us pay tribute to our farmers for their relentless toil and let us all resolve to return to our roots and protect our glorious culture, traditions, customs, arts and festivals. May this festival usher in greater prosperity, peace and happiness in the country!”