Makar Sakranti marks the transition of the Sun into the zodiac sign of Capricorn on its celestial path. The festival is widely celebrated by flying kites and relishing the Tilguls. This fun filled festival is lot more than kites and Til chikkis, which can further be explored.
- Makar sakranti is one of the festivals that are celebrated on the same day every year. Though once in every eight years, the date is postponed due to revolution and solar changes. This year it falls on 15th January.
- The word ‘Sankranti’ signifies the movement of the sun from one zodiac sign to another. Thus, the name of the festival literally means the movement of the sun into Capricorn or Makar.
- Makar Sankranti is referred as the ‘holy phase of transition’. It marks the end of an inauspicious phase which according to the Hindu calendar begins around mid-December.
- Sankranti marks the termination ofwinter season and beginning of a new harvest or spring season. Thus beginning of warmer days and shorter nights.
- The harvest festival of India is called by different names throughout India. Like Makar Sankranti in West India, down south, the festival is known as Pongal and in the north, it is celebrated as Lohri.
- The sesame and jiggery ladoos are distributed among family and friends as it is considered beneficial in this transition season. It also represents a way of bonding and hoping for good health.
- The tradition of kite flying began so that the physical body was exposed to the early morning sun rays. Being a critical time for flue and sickness, the warming sunrays proved to be beneficial. Thus kite flying became a fun way to do so.
- It also marks the beginning of the Kumbh Mela in Uttar Pradesh while in South India, in Kerala, one of the most austere and difficult pilgrimages of Shabrimala ends on this auspicious day.
- People also celebrate by taking a dip in the holy rivers flowing through states to cleanse themselves of sins. It is also believed that if you die during Makar Sankranti, you are not reborn and attain salvation.
- It is the festival of Sun God and He is regarded as the symbol divinity and wisdom, the festival also holds an eternal meaning to it. The importance of this day has been signified in the ancient epics like Mahabharata also.
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The creative son of Brahma, lord Vishwakarma is the official creator of the magical residing palaces of Gods. He is the sole designer of the eternal Universe and maintains the unique connection between Earth and Heaven. The peculiar trait weapon and flying chariots of gods have also been innovatively designed by Lord Vishwakarma. The God of Manufacture is worshipped by the skilled class of devotees majorly being architects, engineers, craftsmen, potters, carpenter, goldsmiths, blacksmiths and other factory workers.
Day of Celebration:
Lord Vishwakarma is actually worshipped on the last day of the Bengali month i.e. Bhadra or Kanya Sakranti which falls on 17th September; but it is also celebrated on the fourth day of Diwali festival on Padyami. This festival has a major craze in Karnataka, West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar and Tripura, but widely celebrated by Indians globally.
Holiday for machines and equipment:
As the highest ranked creative God is being worshipped on this day and the entire industrial class revers him, this day is an official holiday for the industries. It is believed that the machines should take a peaceful rest on this particular day and let the glory of Vishwakrama fall upon them and make them more efficient. Factory owners also prefer buying new equipment or machinery on this day, as it is considered lucky and prosperous for their working.
Relevance of this day:
The day is not only auspicious for industries and machinery but also has further unique add on s. Govardhan Puja is also celebrated on this day to remember the miracles of Lord Krishna, when he saved the entire city of Gokul from the outrage of Lord Indra. To increase the bond of love between couples, Gudi Padwa is celebrated in which the newly wed couples are invited for special treats by the bride’s family.
This festival spreads the message of adoring creativity and boosting the talented God and his man power. It brings together people from the varied classes and leaves no distinction among them. When the entire working class comes together, it removes the pride of their ranks and they simply cherish their skills. Kite flying is also an important custom on this day, and Bihar and West Bengal arrange special kite flying festivals.
Architectural creations by Lord Vishwakrama:
The laurels of Vishwakarma’s innovation have been mentioned in mythology and Vedas. He has been credited for the flawless creation of God’s abodes in the four ‘yugas’.
‘Swarg lok’ or heaven has been created by the talented Lord Vishwakarma, which is the abode of Gods and is ruled by lord Indra.
During the ‘Treta yug’, Vishwakarma built the beautiful golden city for Lord shiva and Parvati. This was later demanded by Ravana in return of ‘dakshina’; since then it was called as the ‘Raavan’s sone ki Lanka’.
The city of Lord Krishna, Dwarka has been established by Vishwakarma in the ‘Dwapar yug’, which is now a renowned pilgrimage for Hindu devotees.
Lord Vishwakarma’s magic is also evident during the ‘kali yuga’, when the pandavas were ordered to live on a piece of land named ‘Khaandavprastha’. He transformed this barren land into a magical city of Indraprastha, which was known for its architectural beauty.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja
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