Makar Sankranti or Maghi or Sankranti only is a Hindu festival dedicated to the Sun God. Makar Sankranti is celebrated on a fixed date which occurs on 14 January every year. It also marks the end of the winter season and the beginning of the new harvest season. The auspicious period of Uttarayan starts on Makar Sankranti. The Sun god is worshipped on Makar Sankranti. Makar Sankranti is essentially a celebration of a bumper harvest.
It also refers to a specific solar day in the Hindu calendar. On this auspicious day, the Sun enters Capricorn or Capricorn, symbolizing the end of the winter month and the beginning of the long days. This is the beginning of the month of Magha. In order to recombine for the distinction caused by the revolution around the Sun, the day of the solstice is postponed to one day every 80 years. From the day of Makar Sankranti, Surya starts his subsequent yatra or Uttarayan yatra. Therefore, this festival is also known as Uttarayan.
History of Makar Sankranti
Sankranti is considered a deity. According to legend, Sankranti killed a devil named Shankarasura. The next day of Makar Sakranti is called Cardin or Kikranta. On this day the goddess killed the devil Kinkersur. Information about Makar Sankranti is available in the almanac. The almanac is a Hindu almanac that provides information about the age, form, clothing, direction, and gait of Sankranti.
Importance of Makar Sankranti
Makar Sakranti is the date from which the sun’s northward movement begins. The time from Cancer Sakranti to Makara Sakranti is known as Dakshinayan.
Traditions of modern India
According to the scriptures, Dakshinayana is considered as the night of the Lord or as a sign of negativity and Uttarayan is the symbol of the day of the gods or a symbol of positivity. As the sun begins its journey northward on this day, people take a holy dip in the Ganges, Godavari, Krishna, Yamuna river at holy places, chanting mantras. The Sun usually affects all zodiac signs, but it is said that the Sun’s entry into the zodiac sign of the people of Cancer and Capricorn is very fruitful.
Sun is in the Southern Hemisphere before Makar Sankranti. For this reason, in India, the nights are longer in winter and the days are shorter. But with Makar Sankranti, the Sun begins its journey towards the Northern Hemisphere and therefore, the days will be longer and the nights shorter.
On the occasion of Makar Sankranti, people express their gratitude to the people of India throughout the year by worshiping the Sun God in various forms. Any meritorious deeds or donations during this period are more fruitful.
Performing turmeric kumkum in a way that generates the waves of eccentric etc. It helps to inculcate the impression of spiritual devotion to a person’s mind and enhances the spiritual feeling for God.
In different regions of the country, Makar Sankranti is celebrated in different ways.
Lohri: Lohri is celebrated in many parts of the country including Haryana and Punjab on 13 January, a day before Makar Sankranti. At night, people gather around the bonfire and offer peanuts and popcorn to the flames of the bonfire as offerings and distribute it among others as offerings and pray for prosperity.