Makar Sankranti is the festival of harvest celebrated with immense devotion all over India. As India is an agricultural country, on this auspicious day people pray for a prosperous growing season and a good future harvest to the Lord Sun.
There are many reasons for this celebration. Firstly, before the festival, the farmers have sown seeds and cultivated the lands for better production. Secondly, this celebration time is extremely auspicious as per the Hindu calendar. Thirdly, it is the date from which the days are going to be longer and the nights are going to be shorter.
What is Makar Sankranti?
Makar Sankranti indicates the entry of Sun into the zodiac sign Capricorn (Makar Rashi). It is the Indo Aryan (Hindi) language name for Makar Sankranti and used as the official name in Southern areas.
There are various names for Makar Sankranti in different parts of India. Poush Sankranti is the Makar Sankranti in Bengali, Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Lohri in Punjab, Maghi in Himachal Pradesh, Bihu in Assam, Shakrain in Bangladesh. It is also known as Uttarayan as from this day the Sun begins its northward journey.
People also search for ‘how to draw Makar Sankranti’. Children draw a picture of flying kites to celebrate this festival.
Significance of Makar Sankranti
It is believed that on this day Lord Sun comes to visit his son Shani who is the owner of Makar Rashi. Though the relation between Lord Sun and Shani is not good, it is the responsibility of Shani to take care of his father. So, this day signifies the priority of responsibilities, letting go of any quarrels, old bitterness and establishment of more meaningful relationships with the people we love.
In the era of Mahabharat, Bhishma Pitama had a blessing of wish death. He was on the bed of arrows but didn’t sacrifice his life till the Uttarayan (Makar Sankranti) began. It is believed that people who die in Uttarayan get moksha or salvation.
Another saying is that Bhagirath liberated his ancestors from the curse on this day after bringing Ganga. For this reason, big celebrations are made on this day as Ganga Sagar Mela in West Bengal.
When to Celebrate Makar Sankranti Festival?
There are 6 types of calendar in Hinduism but people follow mainly two – 1. Chandra manna or lunar year and 2. Surya manna or solar year. Most of the festivals in Hindu religion are celebrated according to the lunar year, therefore the dates change every year.
Makar Sankranti is the festival of a solar cycle. So it remains constant every year mostly on 14th January, except in some years when the date shifts by a day (in some leap years). Makar Sankranti 2020 date will be on 15th January.
Rituals Performed During Makar Sankranti
In different parts of India, different rituals are performed regarding this harvest festival. Devotees perform activities like taking a bath in holy water, offering food to Lord Sun, giving charity, etc.
Kite flying is an integral part of the Makar Sankranti celebration, especially in Gujarat. As it is celebrated in the month of Magh, in some parts of India Magh Mela or Kumbh Mela is held on this occasion.
In the case of Lohri, Punjabis lit bonfires and perform puja around the sacred fire by throwing rice, sweets into it and perform their native dance ‘Bhangra’. Lohri and Makar Sankranti are celebrated on the same date.
South Indians celebrate Pongal (Makar Sankranti) by harvesting paddy and offering sweets made up of rice, pulses, and milk cooked in ghee to the family deity. Despite being an important festival for the Hindu religion, Makar Sankranti is an optional holiday for Indians.
Makar Sankranti celebration in Karnataka is marked by the exchange of various kinds of jaggery sweets and sesame seeds. People greet each other ‘happy Makar Sankranti’. The tradition of ‘Haldi Kumkum’ is also performed.
Makar Sankranti Images
Happy Makar Sankranti
Makar Sankranti Wallpaper
Makar Sankranti SMS
Makar Sankranti Quotes
In this article, I have discussed Makar Sankranti. Already mentioned it is one of the most propitious days according to the Hindu calendar. It is celebrated in numerous forms in different parts of India (mostly), Nepal and Bangladesh.
Expatriates living in different countries like the USA, London also celebrate the festival with grand feasts and other rituals. The biggest function of Makar Sankranti 2020 in the USA will be held at the senior center on 12th January.Hopefully, you will be benefitted from the above information about Makar Sankranti in this article.