Makar Sankranti 2022 : Why is this day so auspicious for new beginnings?
- Makar Sankranti marks the end of the winter season!
- Know the history behind the celebration
- The delicacies of Makar Sankranti
The festival of Makar Sankranti marks the end of the winter season according to the Hindu solar calendar, and the start of the harvest season. The auspicious day of Makar Sankranti is fully devoted to Lord Surya or Sun, as on this day the sun enters the zodiac sign of Capricorn (Makar) leaving that of Sagittarius (Dhanu) from the tropic of cancer. Makar Sankranti 2022 will be celebrated on January 14, 2022 that is Friday. Let us take a look at the significance of the festival.
This festival is celebrated in different parts of India, and even in some other parts of the world. In India, states of Bihar, Bengal, Punjab, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu celebrate the festival with great enthusiasm. The festival is known as Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Bihu in Assam, Lohri in Punjab, in Gujarat and Rajasthan it is celebrated as Uttararayan. Movement of sun from Dakshinayan (south) to Uttararayan (north) hemisphere, therefore the festival is also known as Uttararayan along with Makar Sankranti. Outside India, the festival is given due importance in countries like Nepal where it is celebrated as Maghi, in Thailand where it is named as Songkran and in Myanmar where it is called Thingyan.
When does the festival fall?
Makar Sankranti is one of the few chosen Indian festivals that have fixed dates, it falls on the 14th of January each year according to the Hindu solar calendar. The festival falls exactly 21 days after the tropical winter solstice that usually falls around December 20-23rd. Makar Sankranti holds special significance as on this day the solar calendar measures the day and night to be of equal durations on this day. This is the beginning of the month of Magh. It is also considered an auspicious day to perform any rituals or ceremonies, a day for weddings to take place and to start new things in life.
History behind the festival
As per the Hindu religious legends, Sankranti is deemed a deity; sankranti killed a devil named Sankarsur. The very next day to Makar Sankranti is known as the Kinkrant. On this day, Devi killed the devil kinkarasur, as available in the Panchang. The Punya Kaal falls in almost 16 hours on makar sankranti which is considered the most fruitful time for any work or function, but all the events must take in the day time that is actually considered the Punya Kaal. Dakshinayan symbolizes the god of night or the sign of negativity, and Uttarayan is considered as a symbol of the day of God or a sign of positivity. People all across India get involved in different acts of pleasing lord surya. People take a dip in the holy waters of Ganga, Yamuna River at the holy places chanting mantras and meditation.
Delicacies of Makar Sankranti
Gur rewri, sesame ladoos, peanuts, popcorn and khichri are a celebratory staple on this festival. Chikki and ladoos are distributed amongst all as a symbol of harmony and love. Popcorn and rewri is mainly distributed and enjoyed on Lohri along with puran poli or bobbatlu enjoyed on Pongal. Kite flying is a major activity that takes place in Gujarat, now enjoyed all over India on Makar Sankranti. Also known as the kite flying festival, people gather in groups to conduct competitions amongst each other to enjoy the dying sport of India. Kite flying is now only seen on majorly two days, Independence day and Makar Sankranti that are celebrated with great enthusiasm and joy.