For centuries, the Hindu Festival of India is celebrating for the wellness of humanity. Similarly, the festival of Makar Sankranti amalgamates people in our country in several regions and in many forms. It is one of the most sacred and ancient Hindu festivals that Hindus celebrate annually.
In Vedas, there are various different stories that tell us about the importance of this day in our country. Also, there is detailed description of this festival.
Astrologically, as we all knew that the Sun and Saturn are enemies to each other, the sun feels very uncomfortable in the sign of Saturn, so this discomfort of the Sun gives a negative impact on each and every individual. Thus, to mitigate this negativity people do rituals and prayers as per their traditional values, so they please the sun for a month in a different way in different parts of India.
As per our classical text, Dakshinayan or South denotes as the night of god or the sign of negative energies and Utrayan is the symbol of the day of Devtas and sign of positivity. Therefore, from this day, the sun starts its journey towards Utrayan or North.
On this day if people take a dip in holy water like Ganga, the Godavari, the Yamuna at holy places and do relative rituals. Generally, the sun can make an impact on all the zodiac sign but it is said that when the sun enters the zodiac sign of Cancer (the day when the Sun moves towards the Dakshiyan or Southern Hemisphere) and Capricorn religiously it is very beneficial.
Before entering in the Capricorn sign, the Sun travels to the southern direction. Because of this reason in India, winter nights are longer and days are smaller. From the day the sun enters Capricorn, thus the festival derives its name Makar Sakrant from this very Astrological fact. Also, the sun starts moving towards Utrayan/ Northern Hemisphere. From this day, days start becoming longer and nights smaller as Sun returns to its very position and offers warmth & energy.
India celebrates the festival of Makar Sankranti in different regions with different names in India. Alongside this, before a day of Makar Sankranti, Lohri is celebrated in the state of Haryana and Punjab majorly. People accumulate around the bonfire at night and offer sesame seeds and puffed rice, groundnuts, and popcorns to the flame of a bonfire. It is an ancient practice to present gratitude to the fire. Also, this practice allows people to pray to seek abundance and prosperity.
In Uttar Pradesh, Makar Sankranti approbates the ritual of benefaction. This festival is mainly famous for donations. In addition, people in Purvanchal also call this ritual by the name of “Sidha” which can be any eatable, Dal- Chwal, haldi, and salt(for sure). Besides this, a person can offer anything in Sidha, however, the above-mentioned things are a mandatory part of the offering as these are the major requirement to cook Khichdi.
Therefore, this day people fast and eat and offer to poor people and also donate KHICHDI in Temple. There are grand Melas that take place on the occasion.
Makar Sankranti falls in the holy month of Magh. The month has a tremendous number of religious events including the Magh Mela itself. The MAGH fair which continues for one month from the day of Makar Sankranti on the confluence (Sangam) of rivers in Allahabad. Also, people organize grand KHICHDI Mela at Gorakhdham Mandir in Gorakhpur (UP).
In Maharastra, on Makar Sankranti, there is a tradition of donating cotton, oil, and salt by married women to other married women on their first Sankranti and exchanged sweets made by sesame called Til Laddoo. Also, people wish each other on this auspicious day by saying “gud dudh khawa gud gud bola”.
The state of Tamil Nadu celebrates this festival by the name of PONGAL. There are four days of holidays on the occasion. Moreover, Pongal is celebrated as a harvest festival in south India.
On the occasion of Makar Sankranti, the kite festival grabs attention of people all across the globe. Majorly, the event of Kite Flying takes place in Gujrat, therefore this way, Makar Sankranti has its own diverse value among the people of India.
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