Makar Sankranti 2024: Date and Time, Significance

Makar Sankranti 2024

Makar Sankranti in 2024, celebrated on January 14th, marks the transition of the sun into the Capricorn zodiac, symbolizing the end of winter solstice and the onset of longer days. This joyous Hindu festival is renowned for colorful kite-flying, signifying the triumph of light over darkness. People exchange sesame sweets, sesame seeds, and jaggery, fostering warmth and community spirit. Devotees take ritual baths in sacred rivers, seeking blessings. In various regions of India, diverse customs like bonfires and feasts are observed. Makar Sankranti embodies the essence of unity, harvest, and the promise of brighter days ahead.

Makar Sankranti 2024 Date and Time

  • Makar Sankranti- January 14, 11:24 p.m to 02:45 AM
  • From 05:29 AM to 07:05 PM, Makara Sankranti Punya Kala
  • From 05:29 AM to 07:45 AM Makar Sankranti Maha Punya Kala 
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Makar Sankranti Significance

Makar Sankranti, a significant Hindu festival, holds cultural and astronomical importance. Celebrated annually on January 14th, it marks the sun’s transition into the zodiac sign of Capricorn (Makar), signifying the end of the winter solstice and the beginning of longer days. This celestial event symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness and the gradual shift towards warmer seasons.

The festival carries diverse regional names and customs across India, showcasing the country’s rich cultural tapestry. In the state of Gujarat and parts of Maharashtra, the sky is adorned with vibrant kites during friendly competitions, symbolizing the breaking of past limitations and the soaring of aspirations. In South India, it is known as Pongal, a harvest festival marked by cooking a special dish in new earthen pots as an offering to the Sun God.

Makar Sankranti also holds spiritual significance, prompting devotees to take ritual baths in sacred rivers like the Ganges, seeking purification and blessings. The exchange of sesame-based sweets and other traditional foods during this festival represents the sharing of warmth and prosperity within communities.

In essence, Makar Sankranti encapsulates the unity of diverse traditions, the celebration of nature’s cycles, and the hopeful anticipation of auspicious times ahead. It is a time for joy, gratitude, and the renewal of spiritual and social bonds.

Also Read: Lohri 2024: Celebrations, History & Significance

Makar Sankranti Rituals

Makar Sankranti is marked by various rituals that blend religious customs with cultural practices, symbolizing gratitude, renewal, and the triumph of light over darkness. One common tradition involves taking ritual baths in holy rivers, especially the Ganges, as it is believed to cleanse the soul and absolve sins. Devotees offer prayers to the Sun God during sunrise, expressing gratitude for the sustenance of life.

The act of donating sesame seeds, jaggery, and other food items is prevalent during this festival, signifying generosity and the sharing of wealth with others. Lighting lamps and bonfires are customary, symbolizing the dispelling of darkness and ignorance.

The most visually striking ritual is the tradition of kite-flying, particularly in states like Gujarat and Rajasthan. Kites of various colors fill the sky, representing the breaking of barriers and soaring aspirations. Kite-flying competitions add an element of excitement and camaraderie to the festivities.

Special foods are prepared, with sesame seeds and jaggery featuring prominently. Tilgul (a sweet made from sesame seeds and jaggery) is exchanged among friends and family as a gesture of goodwill and unity.

Makar Sankranti rituals vary across regions, emphasizing the diversity of India’s cultural practices while collectively embracing the spirit of harmony, prosperity, and the promise of brighter days ahead.

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Posted On - January 5, 2024 | Posted By - Jyoti | Read By -

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