Makar Sankranti also known as Makara Sankranti marks the transition of the sun into the zodiacal sign of Makara (Capricorn) on its celestial path,which is the first change in the zodiac after the winter solstice and is the first day of the month of Magha.
This Festival is dedicated to Lord Sun. All rituals during Makar Sankranti are gestures of thanksgiving to natural resources which make life possible on the Earth. The Sun God is worshiped for bestowing good harvest and nurturing livestock.
Makar Sankranti is also known as Khichri in UP, Sakat in Haryana and Punjab, Sukarat in MP, Bhogali Bihu in Assam and West Bengal, Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Sankranti in Andhra and Karnataka and Uttarayan in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
On this occassion people take holy dip in the Ganga River. On this day Haridwar, Banaras and Allahabad witness a huge rush of devotees.
Makar Sankranti or Sankranthi 2017: Date,Time
Makar Sankranti 2017 Punya Kaal Muhurta
Sankranti Moment = 07:50
Significance of Makara Sankranti
Makar Sankranti is observed at the beginning of the Capricorn period under the sidereal zodiac, either 14 or 15 January, and signifies the arrival of warmer days.The festival is also dedicated to the sun god and marks the six months auspicious period for Hindus known as Uttaarayan. The importance of Uttaarayan is exhibited in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, where Bhishma Pitamah waited for the sun to be in Uttaarayan for him to die willingly.
Makar Sankranti is believed to be a time for peace and prosperity. The day is regarded as important for spiritual practices and accordingly people take a holy dip in rivers, especially Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Krishna and Cauvery. The bathing is believed to wash away sins.
Traditions, Rituals and Celebrations:-
As we know India is a country of integrity in diversity, same applies with its festivals also.
Makar Sankranti is celebrated in all parts of India, but with different names and costumes.
In Bihar and Jharkhand, the festival is celebrated on 14–15 January. On 14 January, it is celebrated as Makar Sankranti or Sakraat or Khichdi . People take baths in rivers and ponds and feast upon seasonal delicacies as a celebration of good harvest. The delicacies include chura, gur (jaggery), sweets made of til (sesame seeds) such as tilgul, tilwa, maska, etc., curd, milk and seasonal vegetables.
On 15 January, it is celebrated as Makraat (in some parts of the state) when people relish special khichdi (dal-rice replete with cauliflower, peas and potatoes).
Makar Sankranti is known as Uttarayan in Gujarat. Uttarayan is a significant festival in Gujarat which lasts for two days. The main day of Makar Sankranti is known as Uttarayan and the next day of Uttarayan is known as Vasi Uttarayan or stale Uttarayan. The day is considered highly auspicious and is dedicated to Lord Surya.
In Tamil Nadu people celebrate Makar Sankranti as Pongal. Pongal is celebrated for four days but the most important day of Pongal festivity is known as Thai Pongal and it is celebrated on Makar Sankranti day. Thai Pongal is followed by Mattu Pongal and Kaanum Pongal. The day before Thai Pongal is known as Bhogi.
In Andhra Pradesh, similar to Tamil Nadu, Makar Sankranti is celebrated for four days. The day before Sankranti is known as Bhogi Pandigai. The main Sankranti day is known as Pedda Panduga, which is followed by Kanuma Panduga and Mukkanuma.
In Kerala, the most important event on Makar Sankranti is Makaravilakku. The world famous Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple celebrates Sankranti during evening by lighting Makaravilakku. Makaravilakku is artificial light that is created three times at a distant hill. Thousands of devotees wait for Makaravilakku as it symbolizes celestial lighting at Sabarimala Hills.
Happy Makar Sankranti to all .