Makar Sankranti

MAKAR SANKRANTI

INTRODUCTION

India is the land of festivals. Makar Sankranti is one of the important festivals of Hindu religion that they celebrate with great joy and happiness. The festival is celebrated every year on 14 or 15 January depending upon the solar cycle. They celebrate by taking an early morning holy dip in the river and offering prayers to the sun because according to Hindu mythology sun is one of the many God.

The festival is also hailed as the ‘festival of kites’ that marks the end of the winter and announces the arrival of spring. It is one of the few ancient festivals that is observed as per the solar cycles ones of the Hindu calendar. It is to be noted that the festival has different names and is celebrated in many parts of the country. For instance, while in Maharashtra it is known as Pedda Pandaga, in West Bengal it is called Poush Shongkranti. The Assamese call it Magh Bihu, and the Tamilians Thai Pongal. The festival is also hailed as the ‘festival of kites’ that marks the end of the winter and announces the arrival of spring. It is one of the few ancient festivals that is observed as per the solar cycles ones of the Hindu calendar. It is to be noted that the festival has different names and is celebrated in many parts of the country. For instance, while in Maharashtra it is known as Pedda Pandaga, in West Bengal it is called Poush Shongkranti. The Assamese call it Magh Bihu, and the Tamilians Thai Pongal.

Celebrations

On this day, people wake up early and express their gratitude towards the Sun God. Some people take a dip in one of the holy rivers and chant mantras. Others begin their day by dressing well and flying kites. In many parts of the country, kite-flying competitions are held. It is symbolic in nature, because it said that the higher your kite flies, the higher you go in life in terms of prosperity. Communities come together and share sweets and laddoos made of sesame (til) and jaggery (gur).

 

History

Sankranti is deemed a Deity. As per the legend, Sankranti killed a devil named Sankarasur. The day next to Makar Sankrant is called Karidin or Kinkrant. On this day, Devi slew the devil Kinkarasur. The information of Makar Sankranti is available in Panchang. The Panchang is the Hindu Almanac that provides information on the age, form, clothing, direction, and movement of Sankranti.

According to the DrikPanchaang, “The time between Makar Sankranti and 40 Ghatis (roughly 16 hours for Indian locations if we consider 1 Ghati duration as 24 minutes) from the time of Makar Sankranti is considered good for auspicious work. This duration of forty Ghatis is known as Punya Kaal. Sankranti activities, like taking bath, offering Naivedhya (food offered to deity) to Lord Surya, offering charity or Dakshina, performing Shraddha rituals, and breaking fast or Parana, should be done during Punya Kaal. If Makar Sankranti happens after Sunset then all Punya Kaal activities are postponed till the next Sunrise. Therefore, all Punya Kaal activities should be done in the daytime.”