Makar Sankranti 2022 | Famous Hindu Festival
Makar Sankranti is a great Hindus festival celebrated in India. Makar Sankranti has a special significance because people in different regions of India celebrate it keeping in mind their beliefs. Makar Sankranti is celebrated in the winter season and the date falls on the 14th of January. According to the Hindu calendar, it is celebrated in the month of Paush (Hindu calendar) when the Sun enters Capricorn. Its special importance has been told in the scriptures.
India has been and is an agricultural country. Makar Sankranti is the festival of harvesting and the arrival of the new season. The hard work of the farmers is received by them in the form of food grains. It is the festival of happiness. This festival is celebrated in other forms and is also called the festival of farmers.
Ancient mythology and legend for celebrating Makar Sankranti:-
According to the Puranas and ancient beliefs, Lord Surya goes to meet his son Lord Shani, the giver of the fruit of his deeds. And the Sun God also arrives in Capricorn, this auspicious time has been named Makar Sankranti. According to a mythological belief, the Sun God got angry with his son Shani for some reason. On the day of Makar Sankranti, Surya Dev left the feeling of displeasure and went to his son’s house to meet his son Shani. Shani Dev worshiped his father with black sesame seeds. As a result, Lord Surya gave Shani his second house, Capricorn. Since from this day, Shani Dev became the lord of Capricorn.
Modern perspective for celebrating Makar Sankranti:-
If we want to understand this mythology in common language in the modern era, then we can say that Lord Shani is the symbol of the winter season. In winter, the sun’s light is not fully received by the earth, due to which vitamin D and our immunity are caused. Illness increases.
Indian festival Makar Sankranti and its various forms:-
In the Hindu Calendar, this day is celebrated in different forms and names. Here below we have listed some of them.
Pongal is a famous festival celebrated in the south of India. This festival is a Hindu festival especially celebrated in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh. This festival is a 3 day-long festival. It is the festival of the farmers to harvest the paddy. Pongal festival is the mythological form of happiness among the people.
Uttarayan is a Gujarati festival. It is specially celebrated in Gujarat. It is celebrated on 14th or 15th January. On this day, kites are flown in Gujarat. People keep fasting, making sesame and groundnut Chikki, Jaggery Patti, Gajak, etc.
Lohri is a famous festival in Punjab. This festival is celebrated on 13th January after the harvesting of the crop. On this evening, everyone burns a pile of wood, sings songs, and offers sesame seeds, jaggery, flowers, peanuts, etc. to the fire.
Bhogali Bihu festival is celebrated in Assam, North East of India. Holika (stack of wood) is burnt in the Bihu festival. This festival is also celebrated after the farmers harvest sesame, rice, coconut, and sugarcane crops.
Vaisakhi is a famous festival in Punjab. This festival of Sikhs is celebrated at the time of harvesting. Wheat, which has been given the name of Kanak (Gold) by the Sikhs, fills the house stores and this happiness is celebrated as the Vaisakhi festival.
In the eastern part of India, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar, this festival is known as the Khichdi festival. On this day the day is started by taking a dip in the holy rivers. Allahabad Magh Kumbh begins at this time. Sesame laddus are eaten and khichdi of mixed grains is made at night, which is taken as prasad after offering it to God.
The Sakrat festival:-
The Sakrat festival is celebrated in Madhya Pradesh. This festival is also celebrated in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Sikkim. Sweets made from sesame and jaggery add to the sweetness of this festival.
In the regions of Haryana and Himachal, Makar Sankranti is also celebrated as the Magahi festival.
When is Makar Sankranti celebrated?:-
This festival is celebrated when the rabi crop starts waving in the field after the harvesting of the Kharif crop. Who can know the importance of Makar Sankranti better than farmers? That is why this festival is also known as the festival of crops and farmers. There is special happiness and enthusiasm among the farmers during this festival. In some other places too, on this day farmers worship the bullocks by decorating them. Because the bull has always been helpful in their agricultural work. On this day, farmers thank God for the good harvest of Kharif. Along with this, we pray to God for good crops for the coming Rabi. According to the Hindu Panchang, Makar Sankranti is falling on 14th January 2022.
Significance of Makar Sankranti:-
According to the Hindu Punchang when the Lord Sun leaves Sagittarius and enters Capricorn in the month of Paush. Then this festival of Hinduism is celebrated as Makar Sankranti. On the day of Makar Sankranti, the Sun starts its Uttarayani movement. That is why this is also called the Uttarayani festival. Lord Shani Dev is the lord of Capricorn and on this day the Sun enters Capricorn, chanting, penance, meditation and religious activities are more important on this day. It is also called a harvest festival. Before this day, the sun casts direct rays on the southern hemisphere of the earth. Due to which the night is long and the day is shorter in the Northern Hemisphere. For this reason, the cold season also prevails. From this day the sun starts moving towards the northern hemisphere of the earth. Due to this, there is a change in the weather and it is beneficial for the crops of the farmers. As we all know, India is located in the northern hemisphere of the earth.
Scientific Significance of Makar Sankranti:-
On the occasion of Makar Sankranti, the tradition of making and eating various types of sweets from sesame and jaggery is prevalent. On this occasion sweets made from sesame and jaggery like Gajak, Laddu, Tilkut, etc. are eaten. It is not only tasty to eat, but it is also rich in highly nutritious elements. Consumption of sesame on the occasion of Makar Sankranti can also be seen by connecting it with science. There is a strong scientific basis behind the consumption of sesame.
Sesame seeds contain a lot of oil. It is rich in iron, calcium, protein, fat, and vitamins. Sesame seeds have a hot effect. Its consumption provides the necessary heat to the body during the winter season. This is the reason why it is customary to eat sesame and jaggery laddus on the day of Makar Sankranti.
Mythological Stories of Makar Sankranti
Story 1 – According to mythology, on this day Lord Surya Dev himself visits his son Shani at his house. Since Shani is the deity of Makar Rashi, that is the reason this day is called Makar Sankranti.
Story 2- Pitamah Bhishma, who had the boon of desire for death. Knowing the importance of this day, after Arjuna’s arrow, he had fixed this day for his death. Bhishma knew that when the sun is Dakshinayan, a person does not attain salvation and he has to take birth again in this dying world. After the Mahabharata war, Bhishma Pitamah gave up his life when the sun turned Uttarayan. Bhishma’s Nirvana day is also called Bhishmashtami.
Story 3 – According to a religious belief, on the day of Sankranti, Mother Ganga descended from heaven and followed King Bhagirath to reach Gangasagar via Kapil Muni’s ashram. After descending on the earth, King Bhagirath offered the holy water of the Ganges to his ancestors. On this day a grand fair is organized on the banks of the river Ganga Sagar.
Story 4 – Mother Yashoda had kept a fast on this day only to get a child (Shri Krishna). On this day women distribute sesame seeds, jaggery, etc. to other women. It is believed that sesame was originated from Lord Vishnu. Therefore its use liberates from sins. By using sesame, the body remains healthy and there is a circulation of heat in the body.
How to Celebrate Makar Sankranti Festival?:-
The people of the Hindu community start Makar Sankranti with a bath in the holy rivers in the morning. After that, with the worship of the Sun God, they do charity. Bathing in the Ganges on this occasion is considered more virtuous. On this day a large number of people visit Haridwar, Prayagraj, Gangasagar to take a holy dip in the Ganges. In Hindu religious scriptures, special importance has been given to activities like bathing, charity, tarpan, etc. on the day of Makar Sankranti. According to the scriptures, on this day, as a result of bathing, charity, austerity, a person gets liberated from the bondage of birth after birth and attains salvation.
Makar Sankranti is a festival of celebration and joy as it is also the time when preparations are made to welcome the new Kharif crop in India. Therefore, there is a lot of happiness and enthusiasm among the people on this day and, farmers also seek blessings from God for their good crops. Hence it is also known as festivals of crops and farmers. On this day people take bath first thing in the morning and then do charity work. This donation is also known as Siddha which is given to a Brahmin or a poor person, it mainly consists of things like rice, Chivda, Dhundha, Urad, Sesame etc.
On this day, donating, bathing in the Ganges river and eating khichdi have a different significance. But apart from this, unique customs and events are seen in many states on this day. So let us tell you what happens and how they celebrate this day in other states on Makar Sankranti.
Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Rajasthan-
This festival is celebrated with great pomp in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. While this day is called the ‘Festival of Charity’ in Uttar Pradesh, in Rajasthan, married women on this day get the blessings of unbroken happiness by donating Suhaag items to their mother-in-law. It is believed that when good works are started from this day, they are well dealt with. In North India, there is also a custom of giving khichdi to the poor on this day.
Sesame laddus are also donated on this day, as well as people of North India consider bathing with sesame water auspicious on this day. Unlike North India and Rajasthan, Uttarayan is celebrated on this day in Gujarat. The glory of this festival takes place a week before in the whole of Gujarat. On this day competition to fly colorful kites is held here.
Haryana and Punjab-
In Haryana and Punjab, this day is celebrated like Lohri. This festival is very special for new brides. On this day Agnidev is worshipped and roasted maize, jaggery, rice, and sesame are offered in it. People spend this day dancing and singing. Folk songs are sung around the Agnidev/Lohri (set of wood fire).
Bengal, Bihar, and Assam-
This festival is celebrated with great pomp in Bengal, Bihar, and Assam. On this day people from all corners of the country come here to see the Gangasagar Mela. On the bank where this fair is held, there is a confluence of the river Ganges and the sea. Here it is customary to donate sesame seeds after taking a bath at this festival. It is said that Mother Yashoda had kept a fast on this day only to get a child (Shri Krishna). And another belief is that the Mother Ganga joined Ganga Sagar on this day, because of this, a huge crowd can be seen in Ganga Sagar on Makar Sankranti.
In Bihar too, the festival of Makar Sankranti is celebrated with great pomp. Here it is called ‘khichdi’. Here urad dal, rice, sesame, Khatai, and uniform clothes are donated here. This festival is also celebrated in the name of Bihu in Assam.
This festival is known as Pongal in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India. The Sun god is considered the god of food and prosperity. This festival is celebrated for four days to express gratitude to the Sun God for a good harvest. Every day Pongal has different names.
First day – Bhogi Pongal – dedicated to Devraj Indra,
Second day – Surya Pongal – On this Pongal, women prepare a special type of Kheer in an earthen pot in the open courtyard. After that Kheer is offered to the Sun God and is accepted as Prasad.
Third day – Mattu Pongal – According to the belief here, the name of Lord Bhole Shankar’s bull is Mattu. Which Bhole Shankar has sent to the earth for human welfare. On this day bullocks are decorated and worshipped.
Fourth day – Kanya Pongal – On this day the house is decorated a lot. At the main entrance of the house, women make beautiful Rangoli. The game of Jalu Kattu is also organized in Tamil Nadu on this day. This is a very famous game in which humans are fought with oxen.