Despite the cold weather, people lined up at the ghats for ‘Yamuna Snan’ early in the morning. Many people also did Vrindavan Parikrama.
After performing ‘Dugdh-abhishek’ and other rituals on the Yamuna riverbank, many took the traditional ‘sankalpa’ (sacred vow) to donate food, clothes and other items in temples or to the poor.
Devotees thronged temples throughout the day. Special ‘Panchmeva Khichri’ was offered in Vrindavan’s Banke Bihari temple, while a ‘Chappan Bhog Khichri Mahotsav’ was organised at Baldeo Dauji Temple.
Sesame seeds were donated in Dwarkadhish, Cantt. Kali Mata, Deergh Vishnu, Ramchandraji, Dauji, and Lakshmi Temples.
At the Radha Kund Gopalji Temple, Bal Gopal was draped in new winter finery. ‘Suhaag Sonth’ made with saffron and warm spices such as nutmeg and mace was offered as ‘bhog’.
On this day, women in Nandgaon and Baldeo follow a particularly sweet tradition of persuading their elders and trying to even up differences with them through folk songs.
Many religious, charitable and political organisations set up Khichri festivals/distribution at various locations.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s Makara Sankranti Festival began on the day of Lohri – January 13. Various programs were organized at 24 different locations in which around 120 Swayamsevaks performed ‘seva’ (service) for the saints of Braj.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kalpana Garg distributed sweets and jaggery in Malin Basti.
Vishva Hindu Mahasangh Matrshakti did ‘Khichri Seva’ at the Kankaali Temple and Kapil Muni Ashram Goshalas.
Sadbhavana Silaai Prashikshan Kendra distributed sewing machines, blankets and saris to girl students. Reading material, notebooks, stationery items and clothes were given to children in Narayana Anaathalaya by Vrindavan Bal Vikas Parishand.
Serving cows is also an important part of Makar Sankranti festivities, so many took the opportunity to visit Goshalas and contribute to the important work of maintaining stray cattle.
Mahant Mahendra Das Maharaj said that ‘seva’ (service) and charity are the essence of Hindu festivals. Swami Sureshanand reiterated the importance of generosity in the building of society and nations.