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MAKAR SANKRANTI

Jan. 14, 2021, 7:42 p.m. by Karuwaki Speaks ( 324 views)

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Makar Sankranti is one of the major Hindu festivals of India, on a fixed date that is 14 January every year. It also marks the termination of the Winter season and the beginning of a new harvest season. It is dedicated to Surya, the Sun God in the Hindu pantheon. From the day of Makar Sankranti, the sun begins its northward journey or Uttarayan journey. Therefore, this festival is also known as Uttarayan.

History of Makar Sankranti:

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Sankranti is considered a Deity. According to a legend Sankranti killed a demon named Sankarasur. The day followed by Makar Sankrantis called Kinkrant or Karidin. On this day, the female deity (devi) slayed the demon Kinkarasur.

Importance of Makar Sankranti

Makar Sankranti is the date from which Northward movement of the sun begins. The period from Karka Sankranti to Makar Sankranti is known as the Dakshinayan.

In different regions of the country, Makar Sankranti is celebrated by different names:

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Delhi and Haryana

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Delhi and Haryana and many neighbouring states consider Sakraat or Sankranti to be a main festival of the year. Churma of ghee, halwa and kheer are cooked specially for this day. One brother of every married woman visits her home with a gift of some warm clothing for her and her husband's family. It is called "Sidha". Women used to give a gift to their in-laws, and this ritual called "Manana".

Punjab

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In Punjab, Makar Sankranti is celebrated as Maghi. Bathing in a river in the early hours on Maghi is important. Hindus light lamps with sesame oil as this is supposed to give prosperity and drive away all sins. A major mela is held at Sri Muktsar Sahib on Maghi which commemorates a historical event in Sikh history.

Tamil Nadu

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It is a four-day festival in Tamil Nadu: Day 1 marks Bhogi Pandigai, Day 2 is Thai Pongal, Day 3 Maattu Pongal and Kaanum Pongal is celebrated on day 4.The festival is celebrated four days from the last day of the Tamil month Maargazhi to the third day of the Tamil month Thai.

Assam

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Magh Bihu also called Bhogali Bihu is a harvest festival celebrated in Assam, India, which marks the end of harvesting season in the month of Maagha (January–February). It is the Assam celebration of Sankranthi, with feasting lasting for a week. During Magh Bihu people of Assam make cakes of rice with various names such as Shunga Pitha, Til Pitha etc. and some other sweets of coconut called Laru.

Gujarat

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Uttarayan, as Makara Sankranti is called in Gujarati, is a major festival in the state of Gujarat which lasts for two days.

14 January is Uttarayan and 15 January is Vasi-Uttarayan (Stale Uttarayan). Gujarati people keenly await this festival to fly kites, called 'patang'. Kites for Uttarayan are made of special light-weight paper and bamboo and are mostly rhombus shaped with central spine and a single bow.

Odisha

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Jagannath temple at Puri this festival is observed as Uttarayana Yatra and Uttarayan Vandapana of Lord Jagannath. Makar Niti is performed at Jagannth Temple in Puri. For the Makar Vesha of the deities, Bada Odia Matha provides garlands made of different flowers and Basil leaves.

Special Makar Mala and Makar Tada are provided to the temple on this occasion. The Makar Chaula Prasad is prepared using these Tada.

In Odisha people prepare makara chaula or uncooked newly harvested rice, banana, coconut, jaggery, sesame, rasagola, Khai/Liaa and chhena puddings for naivedya to gods and goddesses. The withdrawing winter entails a change in food habits and intake of nourishing and rich food. Therefore, this festival holds traditional cultural significance. It is astronomically important for devotees who worship the sun god at the great Konark temple with fervour and enthusiasm as the sun starts its annual swing northwards. Besides the usual rituals, people of Orissa, especially Western Orissa, reaffirm the strength of the bond of friendship with their best friends during this occasion. The practice is called ‘Makar Basiba’.

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This festival keeps its importance from the religious as well as a scientific point of view. This festival is full of happiness and joy by socializing with people. This festival aims to be respectful towards others and live our own life with peace and harmony.


Comments (1)

user
Mini 5 months, 2 weeks ago
Nice article.