Hello Ladies... After a lovely start to a wonderful 2015...this week marks the first festival of the year. It is a harvest festival celebrated all over the country and in various other places too. As we enjoy the crisp and chill weather of January, this harvest festival adds in more cheer and warmth. A short summary.... Known as MAKAR SANKRANTI in most Northern states of India. People believe that the wind changes its course of direction on this day, hence they come out on the streets and fly kites. It is a very cheerful event for all...young and old alike. In Tamil Nadu, this festival of PONGAL is spread over four days and the newly harvested rice is cooked. In Punjab, this festival is celebrated as LOHRI which is considered to be the coldest day of the season. People celebrate it by dancing around the fire which is fed by sugarcane, puffed rice and sesame seeds and sing folk songs of good harvest thus thanking the Almighty for the good crop. The Assamese celebrate BIHU at the various stages of paddy cultivation. The first day of this festival is celebrated as BHOGI in honor of the rain-god Indra. The Maharashtrians celebrate HADAGA praying to Lord Indra for a good monsoon. In Nepal, the Nepalese celebrate MAGHE SANKRANTI. Well...well...well....names different, but celebrations galore...all we can see is the festive spirit and cheer in every home and heart and prayers for a bountiful harvest in the days to come. Friends, through this thread, please join in the celebrations... post pictures of the festival showing your customs and traditions of your pujas, colorful rangolis and prasadams. MAY THIS FIRST FESTIVAL OF THE NEW YEAR BRING GOOD LUCK AND HAPPINESS IN YOUR LIFE!