Have you ever wondered that why is Makar Sankranti celebrated in India? Why people fly kites on this day? What is the significance of Makar Sankranti? Many people think that Makar Sankranti is a festival famous for kite flying and the sesame seeds, but it is much more than that. Maker Sankranti is a celebration of the cosmic Winter time. Maker Sankranti is one the most important festivals of India. The word ‘Sankranti’ means a “movement” because our life is a movement. The planet is continuously moving, which means that people who came to this planet before us moved ahead and who came after us, are waiting for us to move forward. If the planet remains still, our life remains still and when it moves it completely churns our life.

Maker Sankranti is a festival which marks the northward journey of the Sun to enter the Makar, which is the Capricorn from the Tropic of Cancer. It is a significant movement of the Sun from South (Dakshinayana) towards the North (Uttaranyana) hemisphere. It is also one of those Indian festivals which has its prefixed date, i.e. 14th January. This day specifically marks the beginning of all the auspicious ceremonies which can be observed in any Hindu family. Thus, the festival of Makar Sankranti is being considered to be a transitional phase. This means that the festival of Makar Sankranti not only holds the socio-geographical importance, but even the religious and historical significance.

makar-sankrantiImage:indiatimes.in

What does the word ‘Sankranti’ mean?

The word “Sankranti” specifically means the Sun’s transmigration from one zodiac to the other in India Astrology. According to the Hindu beliefs, there are total 12 Sankrantis, but the festival is only celebrated on 14th January every year, with the transition of Sun from Dhanu (Sagittarius) to Makar (Capricorn). This is a particular case which is measured according to the sidereal (constellation) and not tropically. This is the reason that the festival of Makar Sankranti falls after the 21 days of tropical winter cosmic time, which significantly lies between 20th and 23rd Decemeber. Here the Sun begins its progress towards North, i.e. Uttarayana.

Significance of Makar Sankranti

The festival of Makar Sankranti holds a special significance because this is a day which marks the equal durations of day and night. This is the day after which the days become longer as well as warmer. It is the day when the Sun starts getting close to the northern hemisphere. The significance of Makar Sankranti is marked by the celebrations of festivities by the great Aryans. The major reason known behind the celebration of Makar Sankranti is the onset of the harvest season. This day has been considered to be auspicious from the time of the Mahabharata, because the great epic includes an episode about the festivity as well. Also, it is said that if a person dies on the day of Makar Sankranti, he or she attains Salvation or Moksha.

Other names of Makar Sankranti

The festival of Makar Sankranti is also known as Sankranti in India. It is one of the most popular festivals celebrated in India and even in some parts of the world with enthusiasm and zeal. It is significantly celebrated in the Hindu communities of India as a “Harvest Festival”. This festival is one of the major festivals celebrated with full gusto and fervour, specifically in the states of Gujarat, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Bengal, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Bihar. In the Indian state, Tamil Nadu, the festival of Makar Sankranti is known as Pongal; in Rajasthan and Gujarat as Uttararayan; in Punjab as Lohiri and in Assam as Bhogali Bihu. Outside India, the festival of Makar Sankranti is known as Maghi or Maghe Sakrati in Nepal; as Songkran in Thailand and as Thingyan in Myanmar.

Celebrations of Makar Sankranti

The festival of Makar Sankranti is being considered to be one of the most auspicious Indian festival, especially for Hindus. Thousands of people take a dip bath in the Ganga river on this auspicious day and pray to the Sun God. In the western states, Gujarat and Rajasthan, the festival of Makar Sankranti is celebrated by flying colourful kites, as an offerings to the Sun God. This specifically marks a significant of reaching to their beloved God. In the rural parts of India, this festival is celebrated with an important event of ‘cock fights’. This festival pays the respect and honours to the Goddess of Knowledge- Maa Saraswati. It is the period of happiness, illumination, affluence and peace.

“The sun rises with new hope Kites fly with vigour crops Are ready to be harvested All denoting hope, Joy and abundance.”

Making Different wishes you all a very Happy Makar Sankranti.