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MakarSankranti information history and celebration

When is Makarsankranti festival


In 2016 Sankranti is on Jan 15, 2016. Generally Sankranti is celebrated on Jan 14 every year
In Nepal ( Kirat community)New year start from Makarsankranti day. It is called Yele Dhung.
Based on the rical evidence Kirat calendar was started when King Yalamber conquered Kathmandu valley.

History and Significance of Makarsankranti

Makar (capricorn) is a Hindu zodiac sign and Sankranti means to change direction. According to Hindu calendar, Makar sankranti occurs when sun changes its direction northwards from Dhanu Rashi (Sagittarius) to enter the Makar Rashi (Capricorn) in the month of Poush. Makar Sankranti is considered very auspicious day and it is believed any sacred ritual or task can be started or performed on this day and it will be fruitful .It marks the beginning of harvesting season and end of chilly winter season.
Makarsankranti celebration is also tied to end of winter, harvesting season and festival is celebrated to thank God for good harvesting season and providing prosperity.

What are various names of Makar sankranti

Makarsankranti is celebrated with different names in various part of India and across the workd.

  • Makarsankranti in most of India
  • Pongal in AP, Tamilnadu
  • Makara Sankrama in Karnataka
  • Uttarayan in Gujarat
  • Kichdi in UP, Bihar, Uttarakhan
  • Maghi in Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab
  • Bhogali Bihu in Assam
  • Pongal in Srilanka
  • Maghe Sankranti in Nepal
  • Songkran in Thailand
  • Thingyan in Myanmar
  • Moha Sangkran in Combodia
  • Pi Ma Lao in Laos

How people celebrate the festival

Eating Til, Gud, Chikki and Gajjak

On Lohri, Makar Sankranti people eat Til Gud, Gajjak, Revri,e sesame and jaggery laddoos, chikkis.
They are generally accompanied by the saying, "Til-gul ghya ani gud gud bola"
Festival fall in winter. This is perfect season to eat Til Gud.

Participate in Kite Festival

On Makarsankranti there is traition of Kite flying. It is very popular in Rajasthan and Gujarat. The tradition started in old days when Kite-flying was generally done in the early hours of the morning, when the sun's rays were bright but not too harsh.
Also, during kite-flying in Sun, the human body was exposed to the sun for many long hours.
The early morning sun rays is considered beneficial for the skin and body.
This is fun way to involve kids in religious festival so that they get benefit from sun rays.

Detail information on MakarSakranti Festival

Sankranti is a word of Sanskrit language and it means transmigration of sun from one to another Rashi. Hence total 12 Sankranti falls a year but Sankranti festival means maker Sankranti when sun transmigrates from Dhanu to Makar Rashi. Makar Sankranti is celebrated on basis of solar calendar so its date remains same for years. It’s celebrated on 14th January every year. It’s basically a harvest festival and is celebrated with innumerable reasons and ways to celebrate all over the Indian Subcontinent.

The festival is known with many names like Makar Sankranti in Andra Pradesh, Sikkim, Goa, Bihar,Karnataka, Jharkhand, Bihar, Kerala, Orissa, Maharashtra, Manipur, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh; Uttarayan in Gujarat and Rajasthan; Maghi in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana; Pongal in Tamilnadu, Magh Bihu or Bhogal Bihu in Assam valley; Shishur senkaraat in Kashmir valley; Makar Vilakku in Sabrimala Temple of Kerala.

This festival is celebrated in other countries also with different names like Maghi in Tharu people of Nepal and Maghe Sankranti in other people of Nepal; Songkran in Thailand, Pi Ma Lao in Laos; Thingyan in Myanmar; Moha Sangkran in Cambodia.

Significance of Makar Sankranti:

As we discussed that there are innumerable beliefs behind celebration of this festival; Here are a few of them:

1.    Its believed that Sun(Surya) visits the house of his son Saturn(Shani) on this day and stays for a month.

2.    Its believed that Day and Night for deities are of 6 months and on Makar Sankranti day of Devtas starts so its also called Uttarayana.

On this Day Lord Vishnu ended terror of Asurs and buried their heads under Mandar Parvat. So this day signifies end of all negatives.

On this day Maharaj Bhagirath finally succeded in bringing river Ganga to the earth and performed Tarpan for 60000 suns of maharaj sagar who burnt to ashes at the ashram of Kapil muni. He performed tarpan at Ganga sagar of present day and every year great fair is organised there and thousands of people performs tarpan for their ancestors.

On this day Bhishma pitamah of Mahabharata who was blessed with boon of ichcha mrityu decided to leave his mortal coil. He was lying on bed of arrows till this day. Its believed that who dies in Uttarayana becomes free from transmigration of soul.

Sikhs celebrates this day as Maghi. On this day Guru Govind Singh discarded beydaava of 40 sikhs.

Practices:

On this day its believed that donating clothes, eatables, money to humans or grass to cows washes the earlier sins of human and god blesses him with heaven after his or her death. Bath also has great significance on this day and in many states its said “Raja ka daan aur praja ka snaan” means donation by king and bath by common man carries equal importance. Til-Daan is also a very popular practice on this day.

Games like Kite Flying and SItolia are very popular in Indian States.




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