January 11, 2018 03:23 PM

Wonderful and Unique Makara Sankranti

Makar Sankranti is a unique and wonderful Hindu festival which is liked by all. It is a solar event, unlike other festivals which are based on lunar calendar. It denotes the end of Dakshinayana Kalam and the start of Uttharayana Kalam.


In Tamil calendar, the beginning of Thai month is celebrated as Makara Sankranti. In 2018, Makara Sankranti is celebrated on January 14.


Makara Sankranti - Significance of the name


The name Makar Sankranti literally means the movement (Sankranti) of the Sun from Dhanush to Makar (Makar rasi).


It denotes the transit of the planet Sun from Dhanush rasi to Makar (Capricorn) and thus marks the start of the summer or spring among the seasons.


Specialities of Makara Sankranti


makar sankranti

The unique thing about this festival is that it is a solar event, unlike other festivals which are based on lunar calendar.


The Sun starts his journey into northern hemisphere from Makar Sankranti.


The solar aspect of this festival makes clear that the transition from winter to summer starts from Makar Sankranti.


This especially is the day falling on the equinox making day and night equal in duration.


It falls on the fixed date of January 14 every year and at times on January 15.


It is the starting day of Vasanth Navrathri.


The mythological background of Makara Sankranti


Makara sankranti

Bhishma in Mahabharata was waiting for this day to end his life on earth. We all know that he was lying on the arrow-bed for a long time. He waited for the start of Uttarayan to end his life.


Lord Vishnu put an end to the terrors of the Asuras on this day and buried their heads under Mantar Parvat on this day.


On this day, Bhagiratha brought the Ganges to the earth to redeem his 60000 cursed ancestors who were burnt to ashes. It happened at Kapila Muni Ashram near Ganga Sagar. With his staunch penance and tarpan, he was able to relieve his ancestors of their curse.


Different names of Makara Sankranti


In Gujarat, it is called Uttarayan and people celebrate it by flying kites.


In Uttar Pradesh, it is called Khicheri and taking a holy dip in river Ganges is considered very auspicious on this day.


Makar Sankranti


 In Punjab, it is called Lohari.


In Assamit is called Boghali Bihu.


 In Bengal, Ganga Sagar Mela is conducted with festivity and piety.


 In Tamil Nadu and   Andhra Pradesh, it is the harvest festival.



Melas and festivals


Kumba Mela which is conducted every 12 years in Nasik, Haridwar, Prayag and Ujjain is a very grand festival during the time of Makar Sankranti.


A mini Kumba mela, Maga Mela is held at Prayag every year and Ganga Sagar Mela is famous in West Bengal.


In Jharkhand, they celebrate Tusu Mela.


Celebrations in Tamil Nadu and Andra Pradesh


The month of Thai starting from Makar Sankranti denotes every good aspect in life for Tamilians. It is the harvest time and they offer new paddy and sugarcane to the Sun god,


It is a four-day festival in Tamil Nadu and Andra Pradesh and they celebrate it by way of thanking the natural resources that have helped them reap benefits from agriculture.


In Kerala, it is the time of Sabarimala darshan and Makara Jyothi darshan. In Karnataka, Makar Sankranti is a harvest festival.


So, Makar Sankranti bears astrological and religious significance, brings joy and cheers to every home, helps pilgrims with a holy dip and removes negativity from the heart and adds warmth to the body with a rejuvenation of soul.








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