In Karnataka state in
South India, Makar Sankranti is popularly known as Yellu Bella festival. Ellu Bella festival 2016 date is January 15. Yellu or Ella means til (Sesame seeds) and ‘Bella’ is Jaggery. A mixture of Til (sesame seeds), Sharkara (jaggery), dry coconut and groundnuts is given to friends, neighbors and relatives on the day. There is a popular saying of Yellu Bella in Kannada – ellu bella tindu, ollolle matadi! (Eat Til seeds, Jaggery and speak good words).
The popular belief is that consuming sesame seeds and jaggery will is good for the body and it will help in the winter season. Til is consumed during this period on auspicious occasions throughout North and western parts of
Other highlights of the festival are use of freshly cut sugarcanes and preparation of dishes like Pongal.
You can read more about Sankranti Celebrations in Karnataka in this article – Kannada Sankranti celebrations.