It is the first day of the festival and is celebrated on the day previous to Makara Sankranthi. At dawn, on this day people light a bonfire with logs of wood, other solid fuels and wooden furniture at home that are no longer useful at home. The disposal of derelict things and getting ready to adapt new changes in life is the moral.
Bhogi and Makara Sankramana (Makara Sankranthi) are Sun-centric festivals associated with the exit of Sun from Dhanus Raasi (Sagittarius) and entry (transit) into Makara Raasi (Capricorn) in the zodiac. In general every year the calendar dates for Bhogi & Makara Sankranthi (Makara Sankramana) festival falls on 13th & 14th January and the day of Makara Sankramana marks the beginning of Uttaraayana (as per South Indian Calendar). A day before Makara Sankramana marks the last day of the solar month Dhanur masam that is celebrated as Bhogi festival that generally falls on 13th January.
What does Bhogi mean?
The word Bhogi is derived from the Sanskrit word Bhog meaning enjoying or experiencing. It is a festival that signifies the beginning of the harvest season for farmers in India. Hence, it is also known as harvest festival. Bhogi is considered as the day that facilitates the farmers to enjoy the fruits of their hard work. On the day of Bhogi, old, worn out and useless items are burnt in a bonfire. Bhogi signifies cleansing of the mind of its ill thoughts and feelings, while symbolically burning them up, with a firm resolve to tread the path of love, with truth and purity from this holy day onwards. It is the last day of Dhanurmasam and also Dakshinaayana. Bhogi marks the beginning of three day Makara Sankranthi festival.
What people do on this day ?
Bhogi festival or Bhogi is the first day of Pongal and is celebrated in honor of Lord Indra, “the God of Clouds and Rains”. Lord Indra is worshiped for the abundance of harvest, thereby bringing plenty and prosperity to the land. Thus, this day is also known as Indran. On Bhogi all people clean out their homes from top to bottom, and collect all unwanted goods. This day is meant for domestic activities and of being together with the family members.