As you know guys India is the land of festivals and one of the very first festivals of the year to be celebrated in our country is the festival of Makar Sankranti. But why do we celebrate this festival? What is the history of this festival? What is the meaning of Makar Sankranti? If you have all these questions, then you have landed at right place as we will answer what is Makar Sankranti and why it is celebrated each year!
What is Makar Sankranti?
Makar Sankranti is celebrated on 14th of January every year and it marks the termination of the winter season and the beginning of a new harvest season. It is dedicated to Lord Sun (Surya Devta). On this auspicious day, the sun enters the zodiac sign of Capricorn which is known as Makar in Hindi and that is why the festival is named as Makar Sankranti.
From the day of Makar Sankranti, the sun begins its northward journey. Hence, the festival is also known as Uttarayan. Before this festival, the sun is in the southern hemisphere. For this reason, in India, nights are longer and days are smaller in winter. But with the Makar Sankranti, the sun starts its journey towards the northern hemisphere and so days will be longer and nights smaller.
On this day, people send good wishes to their family members on WhatsApp and Facebook. Delicious food is cooked in homes and dance rituals are also performed in the evening in some parts of the country.
History of Mathur Sankranti
Sankranti was believed to be the avatar of goddess. According to a legend, Devi Sankranti killed a devil named Sankarasura. The next day to Makar Sankranti is called Karidhin or Kinkranti. It was the day on which devil Kinkarasura was slewed. There are other historical and cultural importance of this festival also.
- It is believed that Surya visits his son Shani on Sankranti day.
- King Bhadirath liberated his ancestors from curse after bringing river ganga to earth on this day.
- It is believed that Bhishma Pitama who had the boon of Ichamrtyu left earth on this day.
- Also Lord Vishnu buried the asuras under Mandara Parvat on this day.
According to Drik Panchang, 16 hours from the time of Makar Sankranti is considered good for auspicious work. So if you would like to start new work or marriage related rituals then it is good time to consider and this can give fruitful results in longer time and good for you and your family too.
Makar Sankranti on 14 January with Different Names in Other States
The same festival is celebrated by different names across different parts of India. One day before, Lohri is celebrated with enthusiasm mainly in Haryana and Punjab. In Uttar Pradesh, it is celebrated as the festival of donation which continues for one month on the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati rivers. In Tamil Nadu, the festival is celebrated as Ponderal or Pongal for four days. In Gujarat, Kite festival is organized on the occasion of Makar Sankranti.
This year in 2024, Makar Sankranti will fall on 14 January while Punyakaal Makar Sankranti will be celebrated next day on 15 January on Monday!
At the end, I would like to say that it is a very important festival and signifies India’s unity in diversity. Happy Makar Sankranti to all of you. Stay safe. And I hope this festival brings a lot of happiness in your life. Also, if you liked the article then make sure to hit the share button and spread the information of makar sankranti festival with others on social media groups #HappySankranti.