Makar Sankranti is celebrated in every part of the Indian Subcontinent in different ways. Makar Sankranti is considered to be a very auspicious occasion in the Hindu customs. People from every part of India celebrate Makar Sankranti with great fervor and enthusiasm. For the Indian society, agriculture has been a part of cultural roots. Many people pray to Goddess Saraswati on this day for clarity of mind, as she is known to be the deity of wisdom and knowledge. People visit temples early in the morning, take a holy bath and pray to God seeking forgiveness and blessings for their whole family.
Makar Sankranti is known as Uttarayan in Gujarat, Lohri in Punjab, Pongal in Tamil Nadu and Magh Bihu in Assam. The grand festival of Makar Sankranti is celebrated with varied rituals and traditional customs like any other festival. The common thing is the happiness that people share and the reason behind the celebration. A varied variety of celebration like mela (fair), kite flying, holy bath, sweets, free langar, bonfire and many other religious customs can be seen throughout the country.
Makar Sankranti 2020 date and Mahurat
Moment of Sankranti – 02:22 AM, January 15, 2020
Sankranti Snan time – Morning, January 15, 2020
Punya Kaal – 07:19 AM to 12:31 PM
Maha Punya Kaal – 07:19 AM to 09:03 AM
History of Makar Sankranti
Panchang is a Hindu Almanac having information related to clothing, age, form, movement and direction of Sankranti. The information regarding Makar Sankranti is available in Panchang. Sankranti is deemed a deity. According to the legend, a devil named Sankarasur was killed by Sankranti. The day next to Makar Sankranti is called Kinkrant or Karidin. Devi slayed Kankarasur on this day.
Why do we celebrate Makar Sankranti?
‘Makar’ refers to Capricorn and ‘Sankranti’ refers to tradition. The festival is celebrated to signify Sun’s shift into Capricorn. Farmers thank the Sun God and pray for a better harvest in the upcoming season. The festival marks the time from which short and cold wintery months give way to long and warm months.
Winters hinder good harvest due to lack of sunlight and thus everyone enjoys and celebrates this day. More heat from the Sun moving towards the North would generate a better harvest. The most important reason to celebrate Makar Sankranti is the beginning of harvest season because India a vast community of farmers and the crops give them a way to live life and food to eat.
How to celebrate Makar Sankranti?
Makar Sankranti is a holy bathing day of Hindus. People go to sacred places having huge crowds to take bath in holy waters. Various Hindus travel to Varanasi, Haridwar, Nashik, Allahabad and Ujjain. Gangasagar (Sagar island) is a famous Hindu pilgrim often visited at the time of this festival.
Kite flying and competitions related to it takes place in many cities of the country. It is enjoyed by the whole family together. People make healthy competition with neighbours on their rooftops.
In many parts of the country, big and small melas (fairs) are held. Some famous Melas are Kumbh Mela, Makara Mela and Gangasagar Mela.