For those who are not aware of origin of Makar Sankranti:
Around middle of every month (13th to 17th day), sun transits to next sign (rashi) in zodiac. As there are 12 signs from Aries to Pisces so actually there are 12 Sankranti’s every year. Every Sankranti (known as Sangrand in Punjabi), its ideal to worship Surya deva, get yourself involved in charitable activities and take holy dips. Makar Sankranti is special as Sun enters Makar Rashi (Capricorn Sign) on this day. In astrology Makar rashi belongs to planet Saturn and Saturn is explained to be the son of SUN. For all the astrological purposes, Sun and Saturn(Father and Son duo) are always in cold war with each other but on this day Father goes to his Son’s house.
Apart from the above Sun starts its northern hemisphere journey after completing 6 months of southern journey which is called Uttar-Ayana. Journey of Sun to southern hemisphere is called Dakshin-Ayana. Uttar-Ayana supposed to be good 6 months of the year till July. Makar Sankranti day coincided with the Uttar-Ayana on which Bhishma Pitamah left his body, who had been on bed of arrows for so long waiting for this day. Uttar-Ayana is the period when Gods specially Lord Vishnu is awake from Yog Nidra.
“Happy Makar Sankranti”
Cultural Diversity in Celebration:
One remarkable aspect of Makar Sankranti is its diverse celebration across different regions of India. While the festival may be known by different names—Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Bihu in Assam, Maghi in Punjab—the essence of the celebration remains the same. Each region brings its unique traditions, rituals, and culinary delights to the festivities, creating a rich tapestry of cultural diversity.
Flying Kites: A Symbolic Tradition:
One of the most iconic customs associated with Makar Sankranti is the tradition of flying kites. As the sun brightens the skies, families and friends gather on rooftops and open spaces to engage in friendly kite-flying competitions. The colorful kites soaring against the blue backdrop symbolize the breaking free from the darkness of ignorance and welcoming the light of knowledge.
Feasts and Traditional Delicacies:
Makar Sankranti is also a time for feasting, with each region presenting its culinary delights. In Gujarat, people relish undhiyu and chikki, while in Maharashtra, tilgul and puran poli take center stage. In the southern states, Pongal, a dish made with newly harvested rice and lentils, is a staple during the celebrations. These festive foods not only delight the taste buds but also symbolize the abundance of the harvest season.
Holy Dips and Rituals:
Many people across India take holy dips in sacred rivers on Makar Sankranti, believing that it cleanses them of sins and brings spiritual purification. The Ganges, Yamuna, and Godavari witness large gatherings of devotees seeking to immerse themselves in the divine energy of the auspicious day. Temples across the country host special prayers and rituals, emphasizing the spiritual aspect of the festival.
Symbolism of Charity and Good Deeds:
Makar Sankranti encourages acts of charity and goodwill. It is a time when people express gratitude for the abundance of the harvest season by sharing with those less fortunate. Donating food, clothes, or participating in community service reflects the spirit of compassion and generosity embedded in the festival.
Family Bonding and Joyous Gatherings:
Makar Sankranti is a time for families to come together, strengthening bonds and creating lasting memories. Whether it’s preparing traditional sweets, flying kites, or participating in rituals, the festival fosters a sense of togetherness. The laughter, warmth, and shared moments during Makar Sankranti contribute to the joyous atmosphere that envelops the celebration.
Makar Sankranti, with its blend of astronomical significance, cultural diversity, and spiritual undertones, stands as a beacon of unity in the vast and varied landscape of India. As families gather to celebrate the harvest, fly kites, and partake in festive feasts, the festival serves as a reminder of the interconnectedness of communities and the shared heritage that binds them together. Beyond its religious and cultural dimensions, Makar Sankranti is a celebration of light, hope, and the promise of brighter days ahead.