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Why do we celebrate Makar Sankranti festival?
Makara Sankranti is a Hindu festival celebrated in almost all parts of India and Nepal in a myriad of cultural forms.
It is a harvest festival.
Makar Sankranti marks the transition of the Sun into the zodiac sign of Makara rashi (Capricorn) on its celestial path.
Makara Sankranti is celebrated in various parts of the Indian subcontinent to observe the day which marks the shift of the sun into ever-lengthening days. The festival is a seasonal observance as well as a religious celebration.
Sankranti (Sanskrit: संक्रान्ति saṁkrānti) means transmigration of the Sun from one Rāshi (constellation of the zodiac in Indian astronomy) to the next. Hence, there are 12 Sankrantis in a year.
Did you know that…
Makar Sankranti is the only Hindu festival celebrated on a fixed calendric day, 14/15 January of the solar calendar (English Calender). Whereas all other Indian festivals are celebrated as per the lunar calendar (Hindu Calendar), which make their days of celebration on the solar calendar vary every year
Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan is major festival for the Gujarati people. The festival lasts for two days much like Sakraat. The first day is celebrated on January 14 and is called Uttarayan. The day of Uttarayan is celebrated by flying kites or ‘patang’.
The term ‘pongal’ in Tamil means “to boil”, and this festival is celebrated as a thanksgiving ceremony for the year’s harvest.
Pongal, one of the important Hindu festivals, falls around the same time as Lohri every year, which is around mid-January.
It comprises of Shri Kalash Sthapan, Shodashopchar Puja, Suryadev puja, Suryadev Shanti Yagya, Go puja, Ganga Puja, 1008 Surya Gayatri Japa, Brihad Aditya Hriday Strota path, Sarva Shanti Puja, Purnahuti, Homa and Visarjan.
It is advised in the shastras to feed the Brahmins and cows as well on this day to get the maximum benefit out of the puja.