Celebrating the Harvest Festival of Shankranthi. January 14th, 2018

Sunday, January 14th was the Indian harvest festival of Shankranthi celebrated all over India. 

What is Shankranthi

Shankranthi is observed every year on January 14th and is the only Hindu festival that follows the solar calendar, unlike other Indian festivals that follow the lunar calendar and can occur on different dates depending on the year. 

Shankranthi is known by various names depending on the region of India. In the state of Gujarat in western India, Shankranthi is known as Uttarayan, in the central, eastern and northern Indian states Shankranthi is known as Maghi, while in the state of  Tamilnadu in South India it is called Pongal.

In places like Gujarat in western India, Shankranthi is observed with a kite festival where families, friends, and entire neighborhoods gather early in the morning on their balconies to fly kites and have a friendly competition on who can fly their kite the furthest.

Called Pongal in Southern India in Tamilnadu

In the state of Tamilnadu in South India, Shankranthi is called Pongal and is celebrated to bring in the bounty of crops such as rice, sugarcane, and turmeric from the fields. During the Pongal festivities families get together and have a big feast made with rice, lentils, and vegetables harvested from the farms. For more informaion on Shankranthi and Pongal take a look at this link Celebrataing the harvest festival of Shankranthi. A harvest inspired vegetarian feast.

 Pongal Celebration at Uma and Nando’s

Here in California our cousins Uma and Nando invited family to join them for a Pongal vegetarian lunch feast. This was a fun afternoon with delicious food, wonderful company, and a chance for the ladies to get decked in our saris. Here are a few photos from our Shankaranthi Pongal celebration in Northern California.

Picture time


Finally posing for a few photos


Kids pics



A few photos with my twins 💕



Showing off our new bangles!

Getting ready for Pongal lunch


Lunch is ready 😋


Pongal 2018 Menu

Vada – lentil fritters
Savory pongal – rice and lentil stew
Sweet pongal – rice and brown sugar stew with raisins and cashews
Sambar – vegetable and lentil soup
Cabbage and peas curry
Tamarind rice
Rasam – tomato and lentil soup
Poli – sweet lentil and flour tortillas


Happy Pongal.  Happy Shankranthi. Happy Harvest Festival!


11 thoughts on “Celebrating the Harvest Festival of Shankranthi. January 14th, 2018”

  1. Thanks Uma for a great party! Great food, laughs, stories. It was wonderful to see everyone with the start of the new year👍.
    Anish loved the boli and Pongal 😊

  2. Thanks Uma for a nice traditional Pongal celebration. Enjoyed the food – poli and vadai were awesome. Thanks to Hema Manni too 😀 it was great to meet with everyone! Cheers to a wonderful 2018!

  3. As always it was wonderful to get together and catch up, laugh and have the festive food. Puliyodara, cabbage and rasam everything was delicious. Here is to more such get togethers for many years to come!Happy new year to all.

  4. Nice pictures of tongue-watery food!!! Whoever prepared all the foods, deserve great applause. Keep up the joy of our culture and tradition though in a foreign land.

    Prayers Blessings and best wishes to all. Pongal Vazhthukkal!

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