Makar Sankranti : Festival of Sun God's Uttarayan

Makar Sankranti is an important festival in the Hindu religion. It is celebrated on the day the sun enters the zodiac sign Capricorn from Sagittarius. It is also a national holiday in many parts of India.

RELIGION

Swati

12/22/20234 min read

a group of colorful kites hanging on a wall
a group of colorful kites hanging on a wall

Makar Sankranti Why it is celebrated?

Makar Sankranti is a Hindu festival celebrated in India and other parts of South Asia, marking the transition of the sun into the zodiac sign of Capricorn (Makar Rashi) on its celestial path. It usually falls on the 14th or 15th of January each year, marking the end of the winter solstice and the beginning of longer days.

The festival holds significance due to its association with the harvest season. It's a time of thanksgiving for the successful harvest and is celebrated with much joy and enthusiasm. People express their gratitude to the sun god, Surya, for providing energy for the harvest and bringing prosperity.

When will Makar Sankranti be celebrated in 2024?

In 2024, Makar Sankranti will be celebrated on January 15. On this day, the sun will enter the zodiac sign Capricorn.

Across India, Makar Sankranti is celebrated in various ways:

  1. Kite Flying: In many parts of India, especially in Gujarat and Rajasthan, kite flying is a popular activity during Makar Sankranti. People fly colorful kites and engage in kite-flying competitions.

  2. Bonfires: In states like Punjab and Haryana, bonfires are lit to mark the end of the winter season and the onset of longer days. It symbolizes warmth and prosperity.

  3. Feasting: Special dishes made of sesame, jaggery, and rice are prepared during this festival. In different regions, specific sweets like tilgul (sesame and jaggery sweets), laddoos, and pitha (rice cakes) are made and shared among family and friends.

  4. Holy Dips: Taking a dip in sacred rivers like the Ganges is considered auspicious on this day. Many people visit holy sites to take a dip and offer prayers.

  5. Cultural Events: Various cultural events, fairs, and melas (fairs) are organized in different parts of India to celebrate Makar Sankranti.

What is the significance of Makar Sankranti in Hindu culture?

Makar Sankranti is known by many names, such as Uttarayan, Pongal, Makhavilakku, Magh Bihu, etc. On this day, the Sun God becomes Uttarayan, which means that he starts moving northward. Uttarayan is called the morning of the gods. From this day, the days start getting longer and the nights start getting shorter.

Makar Sankranti has special significance in the Hindu religion. On this day, bathing in the Ganges and donating are of special significance. It is believed that bathing in the Ganges on this day absolves one of the sins of seven births. Donating leads to virtue and the person's life becomes happy.

Traditions of Makar Sankranti

On the day of Makar Sankranti, many kinds of traditions are observed. Some of the major traditions are as follows:

  • Ganges bath: Bathing in the Ganges on the day of Makar Sankranti is the most important tradition. It is believed that bathing in the Ganges on this day washes away all the sins of the person and he attains moksha.

  • Donation: Donating on the day of Makar Sankranti is also an important tradition. Donating millet, barley, blankets, shoes, clothes, etc. on this day is considered auspicious.

What are some popular traditional dishes enjoyed during Makar Sankranti?

On the day of Makar Sankranti, a variety of delicious dishes are consumed. Some of the major dishes are:

  • Til laddoo: Til laddoo is the most popular dish of Makar Sankranti. These laddoos are made with sesame seeds, jaggery, and sugar.

  • Khichdi: Khichdi is also a popular dish of Makar Sankranti. It is made with rice, lentils, and vegetables.

  • Puffed rice: Puffed rice is also a popular dish of Makar Sankranti. It is made by boiling rice and then drying it.

How does Makar Sankranti influence the different zodiac signs according to astrology?

According to astrology, the future prediction of Makar Sankranti is according to the zodiac sign of the person. On this day, the Sun God enters a zodiac sign, which affects all zodiac signs.

Story of Dharamraj and Gunvati related to Makar Sankranti

Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful and virtuous girl named Gunavati in a village. Gunavati's father was a poor farmer. Gunavati's parents had given her religious education since childhood. She was very religious and pious.

One day, Gunavati went to the village temple with her father. After darshan in the temple, she went to a sage. She asked the sage, "O sage! How can I live a happy and prosperous life in my life?"

The sage told Gunavati, "There is a defect in your horoscope. Due to this defect, your marriage will be to a person who is very angry and cruel. He will give you a lot of pain."

Gunavati was very sad to hear this. She started thinking what would happen to her now? How would she find happiness and prosperity in her life?

That same night, Gunavati had a dream. In the dream, a god appeared to her. The god told Gunavati, "Do not be afraid of the troubles that will come in your life. You just bathe in the Ganges on the day of Makar Sankranti and worship Dharmaraja. This will remove all the troubles of your life."

Gunavati decided to follow the sage's words in the dream.

The day of Makar Sankranti came. Gunavati went to bathe in the Ganges with her father. After bathing, she worshiped Dharmaraja. She prayed to Dharmaraja to remove all the troubles of her life.

Dharmaraja was pleased with Gunavati's devotion. He told Gunavati, "I hear your prayer. All the troubles of your life will now be removed. You will marry a person who is very kind and loving. He will give you a lot of happiness."

Hearing the words of Dharmaraja, Gunavati was very happy. She thanked Dharmaraja.

After a few days, Gunavati got married to a very kind and loving person. That person loved Gunavati very much. Gunavati and her husband lived a very happy life.

Happy Makar Sankranti!

May Makar Sankranti be auspicious for all of you. May you all have the opportunity to take a dip in the Ganges, donate, and enjoy delicious dishes on this day. May your lives be happy and prosperous.