Makara Sankranti is a Hindu festival and observance that is also known as Uttarayana, Makar, or just Sankranti. The sun is moving from the sign of Sagittarius (dhanu) to Capricorn (makara) on this particular occasion. The festival is dedicated to the solar deity Surya and is observed to signify a fresh start because the sun has made this transition, which roughly corresponds with moving from south to north. On this occasion, numerous multi-day native festivals are held throughout India.
Makar Sankranti is connected to the stories of Sankarasura, a demon, in some areas. It is thought that on this day, Lord Vishnu vanquished the demon in his Kurma (tortoise) form, signifying the triumph of good over evil.
Makar Sankranti is observed on a day that typically falls on January 14 of the Gregorian calendar, but on January 15 in leap years. It is determined by the solar cycle and corresponds to the precise time astronomical event of the Sun entering Capricorn. The date and time of Makar Sankranti correspond to the Capricorn sidereal time (when the sun enters the sign).
There are 365 days in a year.24 days are involved, and there is nearly a year’s worth of time between the two consecutive Makar Sankranti celebrations. A year has 365 days in it. As a result, the calendar is moved forward by one day every four years, and leap day (February 29) is added. Thus, Makar Sankranti falls on January 15 of each leap year.
The end of winter and the start of softer, warmer days are marked by this day in the calendar. On this day, people worship the god Surya to give thanks to solar energy for supporting life and food on Earth. After Sankranti, the days get longer and the sun shines brighter.
How People Celebrating Makar Sankranti?
Different celebrations take place throughout the Indian subcontinent. In locations like Ganga Sagar, a lot of people pray to Surya, the Sun God, while taking a dip. In southern India, it is observed with great fanfare as Sankranti in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka (Pongal in Tamil Nadu), and as Maghi in Punjab.
Makar Sankranti is celebrated by a number of melas or fairs, the most well-known of which is the Kumbha Mela, which takes place every twelve years at one of four sacred sites: Haridwar, Prayag (Prayagraj), Ujjain, and Nashik; the Magha Mela, or mini-Kumbh Mela, which takes place every year at Prayag; and the Gangasagar Mela, which takes place at the head of the Ganges River, where it flows into the Bay of Bengal. The Odisha Makar Mela. Many regions of Jharkhand and West Bengal celebrate Tusu Mela, also known as Tusu Porab. This festival is unrelated to Poush Mela, which is customarily held in Shantiniketan, West Bengal, on the seventh day of Poush.
During Makar Sankranti, freshly harvested food grains are offered to the gods before being consumed. Eating Khichdi is advised by Ayurveda since it is a light and easily digestible dish. Eating Khichdi is associated with the body’s natural transition from the chilly Winter wind to the approaching warmth of Spring. Thus, khichdi is the ideal dish to sate hunger and give the body the vital nutrients it needs.
On this auspicious day, Ayurveda advises consuming jaggery and sesame seeds. Til and Sankranti are interchangeable since the celebration is also referred to as “Til Sankranti.” Sesame seeds have the ability to absorb negativity and enhance “Sattva,” or purity, goodness, and harmony, which promotes spiritual practice.
Kite flying is one of the most popular Poush Sankranti celebrations, particularly in the Gujarat region. The Makar Sankranti festival is marked by bright kites in the sky, grandparents assisting their grandchildren in tying the ideal kite, and their aged hands expertly guiding their own with practised ease.
When one thinks of Makar Sankranti, the sound of “Kai Po Che” almost immediately comes to mind in contrast to the mouthwatering treats spread out on the terrace. The ritual of flying kites is also thought to have originated as a health-promoting practice.
The entire family at Forest Essentials hopes you have a very happy Makar Sankranti! Take a moment on this auspicious occasion to reflect on the past, let go of the negativity.