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Why We Celebrate Makar Sankranti in India?

Makar Sankranti, a Hindu holiday observed by people throughout the country, commemorates the beginning of the harvest season and the Sun's passage into Makara, or Capricorn.

Sonali Behera
Nearly every region of India celebrates Sankranti, each with a unique name
Nearly every region of India celebrates Sankranti, each with a unique name

In India, Makar Sankranti is a very popular festival. It is celebrated and enjoyed in most Indian states. Makar Sankranti, which roughly translates to "Capricorn Transition” is observed on the day when the sun reaches its southernmost point before beginning to move northward.

Indian farmers wait till January and February to harvest their crops and give thanks to God for the year's harvest.

Different Sankranti Names in India

Nearly every region of India celebrates Sankranti, each with a unique name. Here are some illustrations.

  • Thai Pongal (Tamil Nadu)

  • Uttarayan (Gujarat)

  • Lohri (Punjab)

  • Poush songkranti (Bengal)

  • Suggi Habba (Karnataka)

  • Makara Chaula (Odisha)

  • Maghi Sankrant (Maharashtra and Haryana)

  • Magh/Bhogali Bihu (Assam)

  • Shishur Saenkraat (Kashmir)

  • Khichdi Parv (UP and Bihar)

Why We Celebrate Makar Sankranti?

According to Hindu traditions, Makar Sankranti is a lucky day. This holiday is eagerly and enthusiastically observed across India. After taking their daily ritual bath, devotees visit temples early in the morning, presenting Dan Punya and praying to God for blessings for their entire family.

In many regions of the nation, Makar Sankranti is celebrated under various names. It is known as Pongal in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh in the south of India, Lohri in Punjab and Haryana, although Lohri is celebrated before Sankranti, Magh Bihu in Assam, and Khichdi in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Gujarat hosts the renowned kite flying event when huge families gather on the terrace of their various homes to participate.

This festival is a significant event that signifies the conclusion of difficult times and the start of a new era in everyone's life. The holiday is observed to promote a sense of harmony and fraternity among all people.

1. A Significant Hindu Holiday

This is a significant celebration for Hindus to celebrate their harvest with festivities and vibrant decorations, just like many other Hindu holidays.

This festival is special since it is the only one that uses the solar calendar to determine its exact date, whereas all the other festivals use the lunar calendar. As a result, it falls on the same date practically every year.

People shop for new clothing, prepare special meals at home and visit temples during this event. Sesame and jaggery are blended to create a delicious laddu that adds a distinctive touch to the celebration.

2. The Sun God Changes Zodiac Sign

The sun moves from the tropic of cancer to the tropic of Capricorn on the fortunate day of Sankranti.

According to popular belief, Saturn's zodiac sign is Capricorn. As we all know, Saturn is the son of the Sun lord. To put it another way, it only denotes that the sun lord visits his son and stays with him. Therefore, it represents letting go of old resentment and arguments from the past, leaving behind our well-defined egos, and moving into a lovely world of love and compassion.

Establishing friendly ties with those we love, putting a stop to any bitterness or grudges we may harbor, and also fostering a joyful environment for ourselves and others around us truly signifies why we should celebrate this festival.

3. The Harvest Season

Indian farmer works hard all year long, planting crops without taking any pauses for recreation. They work arduously in the fields to produce the staple food that we consume every day via our meals; they do not have weekends off, nor do they spend them swarming malls and complexes.

We can eat a full supper and satisfy our stomachs courtesy of the farmers. This event pays a significant homage to Indian farmers and spectacularly celebrates their labor.

After a long year of toiling in the fields, it is time for farmers to rejoice in the harvest and gather together to celebrate Makar Sankranti, the festival marking the end of the harvest season.

4. Women Regard This Day as Holy

In India's northern areas, particularly, women are required to take this sacred bath to ensure the longevity of their husbands. The days become longer and the nights get shorter starting with Makar Sankranti.

This is also a sign that ladies should ask for their husbands' blessings at this time. It is crucial to celebrate this event on this fortunate day. From this day forward, the Kumbh Mela festivities, which are extremely important, start.

5. Beginning Of the Favorable Uttarayan Period

It is believed that starting on the day of Makar Sankranti, everyone who dies within the six months beginning on the festival day—that is, during the time of Uttarayan—reaches paradise instantly and does not experience rebirth.

Hindu mythology places a great deal of importance on these ideas, and it is well-known that Bhishma, during the Mahabharata, actually delayed setting himself free and departing this world until the Uttarayan era had begun.

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