Happy Makar Sankranti 2021 – Sankranti Festival
Makar Sankranti 2021 Significance, History, and why it is celebrated?
One of the main Hindu festivals in India is Makar Sankranti, and Indians celebrate this festival with a lot of fervour. The festival is primarily celebrated in India and also by Indians and Hindus around the world. The festival, as well as a seasonal observance, is a religious celebration and marks the winter solstice, when the sun’s direction changes which lead to ever-longer, longer days.
This day is a major harvest festival, also known as Maghi, and is dedicated to the sun god Surya, it also marks the first day of the transit of the sun into Makara (Capricorn) raashi (zodiac sign) and is observed in January. The festival is usually celebrated on 14 January, but it takes place on 15 January, with certain exceptions, which is also the case for the year 2020.
This festival is also known as Uttarayan, as the sun begins its journey northwards from the day of Makar Sankranti. The harvest festival, though under different names and customs, is celebrated throughout India. Depending on the area in which it is being celebrated, the festivities linked to Makar Sankranti have several names. For instance, it is called Maghi by North Indian Hindus and Sikhs and is preceded by Lohri.
In Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka and Telangana, Sukarat in central India, Magh Bihu by Assamese, and Thai Pongal or Pongal by Tamilians, it is known as Makara Sankranti and also Poush sôngkrānti. As part of the Makar Sankranti festivities, kite flying is organized in Gujarat.
Devotees take a holy dip on this day in rivers such as Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Krishna, and Cauvery. They claim that this washes away their sins that it is also considered a time of peace and prosperity, and on this day many spiritual rituals are carried out. The Kumbh Mela, which is one of the largest mass privileges in the world, also takes place every 12 years, along with Makar Sankranti celebrations. On this day, jaggery and sesame laddoos or chikkis are distributed popularly known as til-gud.
Sankranti is considered to be a God. Sankranti, according to legend, murdered a devil called Sankarasur. Karidin or Kinkrant is named as the day beside Makar Sankrant. On this day, the devil Kinkarasur was killed by Devi. Makar Sankranti’s legends are available in the Panchang. The Panchang is the Hindu Almanac that gives details on Sankranti’s age, shape, dress, direction, and movement. Makar Sankranti is the date on which the sun starts to travel northward. The Karka Sankranti to Makar Sankranti era is known as the Dakshinayan period.
Dakshinayan symbolizes the night of God or the sign of negativity, according to the scriptures, and Uttarayan is known as a symbol of the day of Gods or a sign of positivity. Since the sun begins its journey to the north on this day, people take a holy dip in the holy places in Ganga, Godavari, Krishna, Yamuna River, chanting mantras etc.
The sun is placed in the southern hemisphere before Makar Sankranti. Due to this, in India, nights are longer and days are shorter in winter. But the sun begins its path to the northern hemisphere with the Makar Sankranti, so days will be longer and nights will be shorter.
On the occasion of Makar Sankranti 2021, by adoring the Sun God in various ways, people express their gratitude to the people of India throughout the year. In Uttar Pradesh, it is primarily the ‘Donation’ festival. The Magh fair, which continues for a month at the confluence of Allahabad’s Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati, begins only on the day of Makar Sankranti. People in Uttar Pradesh quickly eat and give khichdi on this auspicious day. At Gorakhdham in Gorakhpur, Khichdi Mela is also organized.
Thus, the Makar Sankranti festival has its own significance in India. It is celebrated under different names in various states. Also mentioned in the above article is what its history is, why Makar Sankranti is celebrated every year, etc.
Another legend indicates that on the day of Uttarayan (Uttar meaning north and Aayan meaning solstice), when the Sun’s rays pass upwards, Bhisma Pitamaha, the legendary character from Mahabharat, breathed his last and attained moksha or salvation.
Social festivals such as colourful decorations, rural children going house to house, singing and asking for sweets and pocket money, fairs, dances, kite flying, bonfires and feasts are observed at this festival.
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