Makar Sankranti is an important festival celebrated in India, with deep cultural and spiritual significance. It marks the transition of the sun into Capricorn and is celebrated all around India with different customs and traditions. Discover why Makar Sankranti is considered so special and how you can celebrate it with this guide.
In this guide, we will cover the following information:
Makar Sankranti has a symbolic representation for every region of India, depending on the customs and beliefs associated with local, cultural traditions. It is traditionally believed to be a day of abundance and marks a new start, as well as uniting families through shared festivities. This festival is celebrated all over India to honor the Sun god and thank him for his blessings.
The significance of Makar Sankranti lies in its astronomical connection, as it marks the point when the sun moves from Dhanu nakshatra (Sagittarius Constellation) to Makar nakshatra (Capricorn Constellation). This date is usually January 14th or 15th every year. Other than a religious celebration, it also symbolizes the harvest season in India, and festivities are usually filled with exchanging traditional sweets and savories, performing Lohri, and flying kites. It is a day to celebrate the renewal of relationships, along with the potential for a new beginning.
To understand the importance of Makar Sankranti, one must understand its historical significance. According to Hindu mythology, it is the day that Bhishma Pitamah left his mortal body and ascended to heaven. Also known as "Maha Sankranti", it is considered highly auspicious and many faithful often draw colorful designs called "mugals", perform charitable works, solemnize religious ceremonies and bathe in sacred rivers like the Ganga and Yamuna on this day. It is also said that there are innumerable benefits a person accumulates by worshipping the Lord Sun on this fourteenth day of Magh month during Uttarayan, which extends from early January to mid-February.
Makar Sankranti is celebrated with a range of traditional customs and rituals. People dress in bright outfits and gather to exchange gifts, including sweets and snacks such as til-laddo and ladoo. On this day, people prepare delicious food and savory dishes to enjoy with the family while they watch the beautiful celestial event unfold. Fireworks are lit, prayers are offered, and bonfires are lit up in the evenings across many parts of India, signaling the start of a new chapter in life
According to the customs and rituals, this festival marks an important period of transition in one’s life as it is believed that the transition from one zodiac sign to another zodiac sign brings a change in fortunes along with it. Moreover, Makar Sankranthi is also recognized as a day of great significance as its celebration marks the end of winter and the start of spring. It is also seen as an auspicious occasion for sowing seeds for harvesting later in the summertime thus bringing further peace and prosperity during future seasons. People wear new clothes during this festive season and perform various activities such as kite-flying, bonfires, oil baths, exchanging gifts, and offering prayers.
Makar Sankranti may be celebrated with the same name all across India, but it means something different in each region. In Maharashtra for instance, people use this day to express love and affection for their loved ones by exchanging small tokens, such as colorful threads, flowers, or bangles. On the other hand, in Rajasthan, kites are flown in celebration of the harvest season. People from all over take part in the kite-flying competition that is held throughout the region, which makes for a beautiful sight when seen from afar.
The festival is also said to be a time when people renew their social ties and bring peace to communities. In Tamil Nadu, people often offer prayers to the gods and goddesses of the sun and celestial bodies on this day. In Gujarat, they take part in a special "Kite Mahotsav" with the loud voice of "Kai-Po-Che’". This is usually done by performing havans or fire-pit rituals with special pujas being offered to please the Gods and Goddesses. Each region has its own unique way of celebrating Makar Sankranti, but one thing that remains the same is its significance as a day for purification from sins—a day worth celebrating!
Flying kites is an important part of the traditional celebrations that are held on Makar Sankranti. This tradition is believed to be centuries old and dates back to when it was celebrated in the royal courts of India. On this day, people head outdoors to spend quality time with friends and family, as they take part in the festive kite-flying competition. It’s a great way to test your skills and celebrate the harvest season in style!
In countries like India, kite-flying is an important part of the festival and it’s believed to bring good luck and fortune. People gather on open grounds with their families, friends, and neighbors to show off their kite-flying skills. Despite modern technology, this tradition still carries on - there's something special about flying a brightly colored kite in the wind that just can't be replaced by anything else. Besides being fun, it’s also seen as a sign of prosperity and hopes for yielding good harvests. The festive atmosphere adds to the joy of Makar Sankranti as people throw up their kites in the air and compete to make them soar for hours at a time!
An essential part of celebrating Makar Sankranti is indulging in fantastic sweet dishes. There are various types of traditional sweets that are made for this special day, but one of the most popular is Til-Gul. This winter delicacy is made from sesame seeds and jaggery, which both symbolize warmth and energy. Not only is it a tasty treat, but it’s also believed that eating the sweet dish on Makar Sankranti will bring good luck to your family!
According to Hindu tradition, til-gul is shared between friends and family as a token of love. Makar Sankranti marks the start of spring and many religious celebrations take place on this day. This sweet delicacy reminds us of all the amazing blessings that this festival brings. The sesame and jaggery in til-gul symbolize numerous traditional values such as warmth, energy, stability, fertility, and health. Not only is it an enjoyable treat, but it has two very important meanings: bonding with your loved ones and respecting nature’s cycles. When Shivaji Maharaj introduced the ritual of exchanging sweet dishes coated with sesame seeds among his soldiers and villagers on Makar Sankranti day, a unique bond was created between them. Eating Til-Gul sweets is a meaningful part of celebrating winter-finally waning away into spring!
Wish you and your family a "Happy Makar Sankranti" from the PDFslider team.