What is Makar Sankranti?
Makar Sankranti is a major festival celebrated in India, marking the transition of the sun into the Makara (Capricorn) zodiac sign. The festival is observed on the 14th of January, sometimes 15th January every year and marks the beginning of the harvest season. Makar Sankranti is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor by Hindus across the country.
Significance of Makar Sankranti
The festival holds great significance in Hinduism as it marks the end of the long and cold winter months and the beginning of the warmer and more fertile months. The sun’s transition into Makara also signifies the end of the month of Paush and the start of the month of Magha, according to the Hindu calendar.
The festival is celebrated in various ways across the country, but some of the most popular traditions include taking a dip in holy rivers such as the Ganges and the Godavari, flying kites, and preparing and sharing sweet dishes made from sesame and jaggery.
In Gujarat, Makar Sankranti is celebrated as Uttarayan, and people fly kites from their rooftops to mark the occasion. In Maharashtra, the festival is known as Sankrant and is celebrated with a special sweet dish made from sesame, jaggery, and peanuts called Tilgul. In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the festival is known as Pedda Pandaga and is celebrated by preparing a sweet dish called Pongal.
Significance of taking a dip in holy rivers
Taking a dip in holy rivers is considered to be of great importance on Makar Sankranti. It is believed that the water of these rivers has the power to wash away one’s sins and bring blessings of good luck and prosperity. The most popular places to take a dip are the Ganges in Varanasi, the Godavari in Nashik, and the Kaveri in Bhagamandala.
Kite flying is another popular tradition associated with Makar Sankranti. The bright and colorful kites are flown from rooftops, fields and open spaces, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil, and the arrival of spring. People of all ages participate in the kite flying, and it is a great way to bond with family and friends.
Makar Sankranti is a festival of great significance, celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor by Hindus across the country. The festival marks the end of the long and cold winter months and the beginning of the warmer and more fertile months. The traditional celebrations of taking a dip in holy rivers, flying kites, and preparing and sharing sweet dishes made from sesame and jaggery make it an enjoyable and memorable occasion for all. It is a celebration of nature, the change of seasons and the triumph of good over evil.
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