Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan or Maghi or simply Sankranti, also known in Bangladesh as Poush Sankranti, is a festival day in the Hindu calendar, dedicated to the deity Surya. It is observed each year the day Sun enters the Capricorn zodiac which corresponds with the month of January as per the Gregorian calendar
What is the timing of Makar Sankranti?
This is a Hindu festival which is celebrated in January every year. This Makar Sankranti festival signifies beginning of harvest season and is dedicated to Sun God. Makar Sankranti also refers to a specific solar day in the Hindu calendar. It is observed each year in the lunar month of Magha which corresponds with the month of January as per the Gregorian calendar and is a day the people of India and Nepal celebrate their harvest.
Time to celebrate Makar Sankranti Makara Sankranti auspicious time or Punya Kala starts at 08.30 am and ends at 05.45 pm. Duration – 09 Hours 16 Mins. Makara Sankranti Maha Punya Kala starts from 08.30 am to 10.15 am
how to celebrate makar Sankranti ?
How to Celebrate Makar Sankranti as a Traveler ?
The kite festival is an activity that every traveler must participate in to celebrate Makar Sankranti. Many people will gather around in an open field and fly their kites of different designs and colors. This is a great opportunity to interact with locals and make friends.
Travelers should also make sure to try the delicious traditional food that is served during this festival. Most of the food will be sweets and desserts such as kheer and laddoos. You can find these dishes at many restaurants, markets, and street food vendors across the country.
How Makar Sankranti Is Celebrated ?
Makara Sankranti is a holiday that is important for spiritual practices. On this day, people will take a dip in holy rivers such as the Ganges, Yamuna, Godavari, Krishna, and Kaveri to cleanse themselves of sins. Many people also perform a prayer to the sun as thanks for their success and prosperity.
Another shared cultural practice that takes place during this holiday is making traditional sweets from sesame and jaggery. This type of sweet is symbolizes being together in peace and joy, despite the differences between individuals. It is also believed that consuming sesame can help a person with inner purification
Makar Sankranti is celebrated as Suggi in Karnataka and is a harvest festival for farmers. On this day, girls will wear new clothes to visit their dear ones with a plate containing white sesame seeds mixed with fried groundnuts, dried coconut, candy molds, and jaggery.
This festival signifies celebrates the harvest season of sugarcane which is the predominant crop in this area. In some parts of Karnataka, newly married women are required to give bananas to married women every year for five years on this day. The number of bananas given increases in multiples of five every year.
In northern Karnataka, community kite flying is another popular traditional .
Makar Sankranti is celebrated for four days in Andhra Pradesh. The day before the actual festival is called Bhoghi which is celebrated by the throwing away of their old items to help bring about change or transformation.
At dawn on the next day, people gather to light a bonfire that burns on wood, solid fuels, and wooden furniture that is no longer useful.
On the day of the actual festival, it is a tradition to wear new clothes, pray to the sun, and make offerings of traditional food to ancestors.
The third day is known as Kanuma and is very special for farmers because it is the day to showcasing their cattle and honor them as cattle are symbols of prosperity. Girls also feed animals, birds, and fish on this day as a symbol of sharing wealth.
The fourth day is called Mukkanuma and is the day when people are allowed to eat meat again because they are not allowed to during the first three days of the festival. On this day, it is also popular to go outside and fly kites.
In Maharashtra, there is a popular tradition of exchanging multicolored halwa (a sugary sweet coated in syrup) and til-gul laddoo (sweets made from sesame seeds and jaggery). This is done to symbolize forgetting past ill-feelings and resolving to speak sweetly and remain friends.
Tamil Nadu also celebrates Makar Sankranti as the holiday Pongal which lasts for four days. The first day of festival, Boghi, is celebrated by throwing away and destroying old clothes and materials by setting them on fire. This marks the end of the old and the emergence of the new.
The second day of the festival is called Thai Pongal and is celebrated by making a dessert called Pongal that is made by boiling rice with fresh milk and jaggery then topping it with brown sugar, cashew nuts, and raisins. This is done early in the morning and the mixture is traditionally allowed to boil over.
The Pongal dessert is then offered to the Sun God to give thanks for the prosperity of the harvest. It is later eaten by family and friends.
pongalTravelers can also try the special Pongal dishes
The third day is called Maattu Pongal and focuses on offering thanks to cattle. The cattle are decorated with paint, flowers, and bells and are allowed to roam free and fed sweet rice and sugar cane. In some places and event called Jallikattu, or the running of bulls ritual is also held.
The last day is called Kaanum Pongal during which people visit their relatives and friends to enjoy the festive season.
Learn more about Pongal and how it is celebrated in Tamil Nadu.
Where to Celebrate Makar Sankranti in India
These are some of the best places to see the celebrations of Makar Sankranti. In Assam, you will get to see the burning of temporary huts called Meji and Bhelaghar.
In Gujarat, people participate in the International Kite Festival. In Punjab, check out the famous bhangra dances.
In Assam, the celebration of Makar Sankranti is known as Magh Bihu and is a festival marked by feasts and bonfires.
During the celebrations, young people erect temporary huts, known as Meji and Bhelaghar, from materials such as bamboo, leaves, and thatch. They will then eat the food prepared for the feast and burn the huts the next morning.
Assamese games such as tekeli bhonga or pot-breaking and buffalo fighting are also featured during this festival.
Uttarayan, as Makar Sankranti is called in Gujarati, is celebrated for two days. The people of this central state excitedly await this festival for the chance to fly kites called patang in the International Kite Festival.
Kites here are made of special light-weight paper and bamboo and the string often contains abrasives to cut down other people’s kites.
On the day of the festival, the skies are filled with thousands of kites as people enjoy two full days of kite flying. The goal of the game is to be the last kite left flying and to cut down the other kites. This festival is a fun event to watch and to participate in.
There is also a friendly kite-flying zone organized by the city for those who don’t want their kites cut.
In Punjab, Makar Sankranti is known as Maghi. During the celebrations, you will see many Hindu devotees bathing in rivers in the early morning and lighting lamps filled with sesame oil as this is supposed to bring prosperity.
In the evening, everyone gets together to participate in a folk dance called bhangra. They then sit and eat a large meal that includes food such as kheer (rice cooked in milk and sugarcane juice) and khichdi (a dish made of rice and lentils), that are specially prepared for the occasion.
Why is Makar Sankranti Celebrated?
Makar Sankranti marks the first day of the sun’s transit into Makara (Capricorn zodiac sign), marking the end of winter and the beginning of warmer and longer days. If Sankranti Chaturthi falls on Tuesday, it is called “Angarki Chaturthi” and is considered highly auspicious.
Makara Sankranti is the only Indian festival that is celebrated according to solar cycles, while most festivals follow the lunar cycle of the Hindu calendar. Hence, it almost always falls on the same Gregorian date every year (14th January), and rarely does the date shift by a day or so.
History of Makar Sankranti
Sankranti is deemed a Deity. As per the legend, Sankranti killed a devil named Sankarasur. The day next to Makar Sankrant is called Karidin or Kinkrant. On this day, Devi slew the devil Kinkarasur. The information of Makar Sankranti is available in Panchang. The Panchang is the Hindu Almanac that provides information on the age, form, clothing, direction, and movement of Sankranti.
According to the DrikPanchaang, “The time between Makar Sankranti and 40 Ghatis (roughly 16 hours for Indian locations if we consider 1 Ghati duration as 24 minutes) from the time of Makar Sankranti is considered good for auspicious work. This duration of forty Ghatis is known as Punya Kaal. Sankranti activities, like taking bath, offering Naivedhya (food offered to deity) to Lord Surya, offering charity or Dakshina, performing Shraddha rituals, and breaking fast or Parana, should be done during Punya Kaal. If Makar Sankranti happens after Sunset then all Punya Kaal activities are postponed till the next Sunrise. Therefore, all Punya Kaal activities should be done in the day time.”