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Sri Lanka releases 55 Indian fishermen for Pongal festival

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Colombo: The Sri Lankan government on Friday released 55 Indian fishermen from its custody in view of Tamil harvest festival Pongal.

Officials from the ministry of fisheries and aquatic resources told Xinhua that the fishermen were detained by Sri Lankan authorities after being caught illegally poaching in local waters.

There are still 104 fishermen in Sri Lankan custody. They are set to be released in the next few days.

The Sri Lanka Navy often arrests Indian fishermen, mostly from the Indian southern state of Tamil Nadu, for violating the International Maritime Boundary Line and enter the island nation’s waters for poaching.

Sri Lanka’s Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Mahinda Amaraweera recently said he requested the navy and coast guard to initiate strict actions after the Tamil festival, locally known as Thai Pongal, to arrest Indian fishermen who violate the International Maritime Boundary Line and enter local waters for fishing.

The minister said the fishermen in the north of the country could not gather a proper fish harvest since their Indian counterparts were continuously engaging in illegal fishing methods to fish in Sri Lankan waters.(Inputs from IANS)(Picture Courtesy: www.ndtv.com)

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All You Need To Know About The Makar Sankranti Festival

Makar Sankranti is a Hindu Festival observed every year in the month of January

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Makar Sankranti is one of the most fun filled festivals where people socialize and celebrate together in harmony. Wikimedia Commons
Makar Sankranti is one of the most fun filled festivals where people socialize and celebrate together in harmony. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma 

  • Makar Sankranti is a Hindu Festival observed every year in the month of January
  • The festival embarks the end of Winter Season and the arrival of Summer Season
  • Sankranti is a festival of joy and is celebrated with great jest throughout India

Makar Sankranti is one of the most celebrated festivals of India. It is full of colour, jest and joy. This festival is celebrated every year in the month of January. Makar Sankranti 2018 was a huge success, and now it is hard to wait for the Makar Sankranti 2019 which will be on 15th January, next year.

Makar sankranti is celebrated in different forms in different parts of India. NewsGram took the picture in New Delhi, India
this festival is celebrated in different forms in different parts of India. NewsGram took the picture in New Delhi, India

However, before getting all excited about this fun-filled festival. It is important to know about it. Here is all you need to know about the Makar Sankranti Festival.

What is Makar Sankranti and why is it celebrated? 

Makar Sankranti is a Hindu festival which almost always arrives on 14th January of every year. The festival is famous for joyous activities like kite flying, bonfires, fairs and feats.

Also Read: The Phenomenal Essence Of ‘Surya Namaskar Yagna’

Hindus in different parts of India celebrate this festival in different forms. In north India, Sikhs celebrate it as Lohri. In Assam, it is observed as Magh Bihu, while in Tamil Nadu, it is celebrated as Pongal and as Uttarayan in Gujarat.

The Makar Sankranti festival is dedicated to the Hindu sun deity, Surya, and is celebrated on the occasion of it entering the zodiac sign, Makara (Capricorn). This denotes the arrival of longer days, i.e. the season of summer.

Kite flying is one of the most joyous activities during this festival. Wikimedia  Commons
Kite flying is one of the most joyous activities during this festival. Wikimedia Commons
Along with marking the end of Winter season, Makar Sankranti also denotes the beginning of new harvest season.
How is Makar Sankranti Celebrated?
On the day of Makar Sankranti, many people take dips in the holy rivers gaga and Yamuna as it is considered really auspicious and it is believed that one can absolve their sins that way.
People prepare delicacies like Halwa and sesame-seed laddus on this occasion. Bonfires are burnt and people celebrate by dancing around it. Kite flying is also one of the most important activities which are undertaken to celebrate the festival of Sankranti, especially in Gujarat.

Makar sankranti is celebrated as Magh Bihu in Assam. Wikimedia Commons
Makar Sankranti is celebrated as Magh Bihu in Assam. Wikimedia Commons
One of the most fun parts of the Sankranti Festival is the organisation of various fairs. Fairs like Kumbh Mela, Gangasagar Mela and Makara Mela are some of the most famous fairs which are organised during this Indian festival.
Makara Sankranti is a wonderful festival which is a great way for people to socialise and celebrate together.