Know everything about Makar Sankranti's significance, importance, mahurat timings and why we celebrate, here.
Hindus across India and world celebrates Makar Sankranti on 14th January. Do you ever wonder why we celebrate Makar Sankrati? Why it generally falls on the same date? Why we observes kites flying and feast upon til sweets. Here is all you need to know about Makar Sankrati. Its various religious and scientific facts.
Makar Sankranti is one of the greatest festival of Hindus across the world which is celebrated in countries such as India, Nepal, Malaysia, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh etc. It is a grand affair for people in India, who start preparing for the festival from days before it arrives. There are many things one need to know about sankranti festival, some religious and scientific facts:
What is the festival about: Religious Significance of the festival
Makar Sankranti holds special significance for all the Hindus across the world. On this day the sun moves from Tropic of Capricorn (Dakhshinayan) to Tropic of Cancer (Uttarayana). People in different parts of India have different names for the festival. In Gujrat its Uttarayan, in Tamil Nadi its Pongal, in Assam it is celebrated as Magh Bihu and Bhogal Bihu, In Uttar Pradesh it is celebrated as Khichdi or Donation festival. In Bihar it is known as Til Sankranti, Dahi Chudd or Khichdi festival. In states of Punjab and Haryana it is celebrated as Lohri festival. People in different parts of india has some religious beliefs associated with the day. Here are some religious information on makar Sankranti.
- In the era of Mahabharata Bhishma Pitamah had a boon to choose his death time. Lying on the bed of death he waited till Uttarayan to leave his body. As it is considered those who die in Uttarayan attaions moksha and gains a place in the Krishna Lok( the abode of god).
- In the case of Makar Sankranti, there is one more religious story which states that, Yasoda the mother of lord Krishna kept fast to have Lord Krishna as her son.
- The people of Gangetic plains of India has a special story of Gangawatran. It is believed that on the day of Makar Sankranti, Ganga followed Bhagirath Muni and met the ocean. The famous Ganga Sagar Mela is organized every year in the state of West Bengal to remark this occasion. People comes from miles to take the holy bath here. It is said that taking the holy bath in Ganga Sagar enlightens one’s mind in multitude.
- On the day of Makar Sankranti, sun enters into the sign of Saturn. Lord Sun is the father of Lord Saturn. Although they do not share an amicable relation, father Sun goes to meet his son in his home. Saturn and Sun, both are mighty planets, whose auspicious blessings can make humans achieve great success. Hence, on the holy festival of Makar Sankranti people delight sun and Saturn.
- Night is considered as the symbol of sin and bad deeds, whereas, day is regarded as the symbol of truth and virtue from religious point of view. On the day of Makar Sankrati when sun enters the Uttarayan, days become long and night becomes shorter. From this day the doors of Heaven are opened, so people celebrate the auspicious occasion.
- In northern India married women pray to Sun God for long life of their husbands and give gifts to their elders, in return take blessing that the way days are getting longer, similarly, the life of their husbands also keep increasing.
- As most of the states in India celebrates Happy Markar Santranti as harvest festival farmers adore all the entities that helped them to gain a good harvest. People worships the Panchtatva (Five essential ingredients i.e. soil, water, fire, sky, air). Peasants also adorn their livestock and worship them.
- On this day, many pray to the goddess of education (Devi Sarasvati). The festival highlights the importance of withdrawing from unethical behavior.
Why we celebrate the festival of Makar Sankranti: Some scientific facts
Although most people celebrate this festival due to its religious importance there are some scientific information about makar Sankranti you must know:
- Kites flying is a common celebration idea seen mostly in northern and western parts of India. There is a scientific approach towards this tradition i.e. basking in the sun is good for health and kites flying is an entertaining way to do this.
- No festival is complete without sweets. Sankranti sweets are made of sesame seed and sugar. They represent affection and sweetness. The reason behind the ingredients of sweets being sesame and jaggery is to generate heat within the body to protect from the chilly weather.
- Shankranti means transmigration of Sun from one zodiac in Indian astrology to the other. As per Hindu customary beliefs, there are 12 such Sankrantis in all. But the festival is celebrated only on the occasion of Makara Sankaranti i.e. the transition of the Sun from Sagittarius ('Dhanu' Rashi ) to Capricorn('Makara' Rasi).
- In Allahabad the holy bath of Kumbh Mela signifies the special cosmic energy which emanates from the conjugation of the trio holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Sarasvati.
The Divine Luxury wishes you Happy Sankranti.