Makar Sankranti is one of the most popular festivals in India that falls in the month of January every year. The festival is celebrated all over India in different names. According to the Hindu calendar, the day is observed every year in the lunar month of Magha, where people in India and Nepal celebrate this festival. The day falls usually on January 14th every year according to the Gregorian calendar. Read on to know all about Makar Sankranti history, significance and how it is celebrated in India.
According to Jagran josh, one Hindu legend states that Sankranti is a deity who killed a devil named Sankarasur. Other theories state that the Makar Sankranti is a day dedicated to the sun god. The day also marks the first day of sun's transit into the Zodiac Capricorn which is called Makara in the Hindi language. The day is believed to mark the sun's northward journey which is also referred to as Uttarayan.
The Makar Sankranti festival is celebrated across the country. There are several names for the festival depending on the region it is being celebrated in. Some of the examples include Poush sôngkrānti in Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka and Telangana, as Sukarat in central India, as Pongal in Tamil Nadu, as Lohri in Punjab, and as Magh Bihu in Assam. The day also coincides with the Bhogi festival in South India.
On the fay of the festival, devotees take a holy dip in holy rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Krishna and Cauvery. They believe that doing so will wash away their sins. People wear new clothes on this day and exchange delicacies as it is an important festival in Uttar Pradesh. People prepare for and practise flying kites days before the Makar Sankranti. Markets are filled with various colours of Makar Sankranti kites.
One of the other Makar Sankranti rituals in Uttar Pradesh is to donate to poor people. Millions of people gather together to donate Urad, rice, sesame, warm clothes, etc. During Makar Sankranti, Khichdi is an important dish and is prepared from rice and Urad Dal. First, the food is offered to God and then to the family. People also make sweets (ladoo) out of Chuda and yogurt, jaggery and Til in Uttar Pradesh. Happy Makar Sankranti 2021.