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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