The Makar Sankranti has significance in Hindu culture and the Hindu calendar. Many festivals follow the lunar cycle. But this festival sticks to the solar cycle and comes almost on the same day every year. A great Indian festival like this symbolizes the welcoming of summer and sunlight to add warmth to the lives of the believers. With the sun's transit into the Makara Rashi or Capricorn sign, Makar Sankranti 2023 will hit on the 14th of January.
Sankranti festival marks the sun and its shift from the zodiac sign of Sagittarius (Dhanu) to Capricorn (Makar). This period notes the adaptation of the sun from the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern Hemisphere. What a journey the Sun takes.
The festivities of Makar Sankranti have various names. Makara Sankranti in Kerala, Magh Bihu in Assam, Maghi in Punjab, Maghi Sangrand or Uttarain (Uttarayana) in Jammu, Sakrat in Haryana, Sakraat in Rajasthan, Bihu in Assam, Maghi Saaji in Himachal Pradesh, Sukarat in central India, Pongal in Tamil Nadu.
Makar Sankranti is the festival of Indian farmers who celebrate the end of the harvest season. It is a reaping festival that indicates the commencement of spring and the winding of winter. On this day, the agricultural families and the cultivators look back on their achievements and set new farming plans for the future.
The International Kite Flying Festival known as Makar Sankranti is celebrated with much fanfare across the country. In Gujrat, kite flying is so much that the sky gets filled with colourful kites from dawn to dusk. People of all ages madly fly Fancy-kites, Designer-kites, and Chinese kites to elevate the joy across the skies. Indeed, the Cult-kite festival of India is a symbol of peace, pleasantry, and prosperity.
Indian organizations never miss out on honouring this festival. They celebrate Makar Sankranti with the same Holy Spirit. The Traditional day tickles with the Mega-corporate luncheon. Games, stage shows, musical orchestrations, and Kite Flying Competitions are organized for the employees.
This day brings zest and zeal across the country. Religious people take holy baths in the sacred river Ganga. The Makar Sankranti festival is about worshipping Lord Surya. Next, people gather at a local temple to offer their prayers and worship the Sun God. The men and women perform Surya Namashkar to Lord Surya, the Sun God. The farmers express their gratitude to the Sun God for blessing them with good weather and climate that resulted in rich yield.
The celebrations of Makar Sankranti usually start a day before, with people taking a holy dip in the lakes and Yamuna river. We often see devotees participating in the religious Makar Sankranti rituals across the great Ganges.
The frolic festival is known for its super sweet and scented cuisine made from new harvest grains, rice, and jaggery. People greet each other with sweets and Laddu made of white sesame seeds and jaggery. In the evening, they dine with friends and family and enjoy a delicious meal together.
The Mouthwatering range of the Makar Sankranti meals includes:
Nolen Gur Payesh
Gur Aur Atte Ka Halwa
Sesame Jaggery Ladoo
Hence, the traditional Makar Sankranti fest has importance in the Hindu-mythology and holy terminology. The celebration bids farewell to the winter solstice and welcomes the start of the long and lovely days. This Makar Sankranti, let's celebrate the spirit of the festivity with bonfires, kite flying, folk songs, dance, and dozens of delicacies of our lives. Happy Makar Sankranti once again.