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In North India, a ritual bath in the river is important on this day. In fact, bathing is considered mandatory on this day, and according to a popular local belief in the hills of Uttar Pradesh, one who does not bathe on Makara Sankranti is born a donkey in his next birth. The belief probably originated in cold climates to compel some of the more reluctant people to observe certain rules of hygiene. Khichiri is eaten and given away as charity, and some call the festival Khichiri Sankranti. People also distribute rice and lentils to the poor and needy.

A big fair is held at the confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna and the Sarasvati rivers at Triveni in Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh) on this occasion. Being the month of Magha, this fair is also called Magha Mela. Apart from Triveni, ritual bathing also takes place at many places like Haridvar and Garh Mukteshwar in Uttar Pradesh, and Patna in Bihar. Since it is also the season to fly kites, the evening sky is awash with colourful kites of all shapes and sizes. Several kite competitions are held in various localities.

Thus, in Uttar Pradesh, Sankrant is called ‘Khichiri’. Taking a dip in the holy rivers on this day is regarded as most auspicious. A big one-month long ‘Magha-Mela’ fair begins at Prayag (Allahabad) on this occasion. Apart from Triveni, ritual bathing also takes place at many places like Haridvar and Garh Mukteshwar in Uttar Pradesh, and Patna in Bihar.

Desi Ghee Ka Tadka; Basmati Ke Chaval; Urad Ki Daal; Sath Me Dahi; Papad; Salad Aur Aachar; Dil Me Khushi Aur Apno Ka Pyar. Mubarak Ho Aapko KHICHDI Ka Tyohar. Happy Khichiri Sankranti.

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