14 Jan 2023

Makar Sankranti Being Celebrated With Religious Fervour, Rituals And Significance Of Festival

Makar Sankranti is being celebrated today with religious fervor and the devotees will observe many rituals and offer worship to Sun God. 

However, should the festival of Makar Sankranti be celebrated today i.e. 14th January or tomorrow i.e. 15th January? This question is in the mind of many people because mostly the festival of Makar Sankranti has been celebrated on 14 January only. This time Makar Sankranti will be celebrated on 15 January but in many parts the festival is being celebrated today.

People prepare delicacies, observe typical rituals

People across the country have geared up to usher in Makar Sankranti, one of the most important festivals celebrated in North India, with every house indulging in making special delicacies and observing typical rituals.

Sankranti is a harvest festival and is celebrated as a form of giving thanks to nature. It marks the beginning of the harvest season. The Sun begins its journey northwards (Uttarayana) as opposed to the south. This is considered to be an auspicious time and is also said to be the 'holy period of transition'. On this day, the Sun is worshipped.

Festival has different names in different parts of country

With the onset of Uttarayan, the effect of cold also starts reducing gradually. The festival has different names in different parts of the country. It is celebrated as Pongal in Karnataka, Lohri in Punjab and Uttaryan, Maghi and Khichdi in some other parts of the country. 

To celebrate the day, devotees wake up early in the morning at the time of sunrise. The day usually begins with a dip in a holy river, like the Ganga, Kaveri or Krishna, depending on where you are in the country and offer water to the Surya (Sun God). 

People offer charity and donations

By doing this, it is said that the sins will be cleansed and one can attain salvation.. This dip is accompanied by prayer and chants. Since it is an auspicious day, many people offer charity and donations to the lesser fortunate. Historically, Lord Surya has been worshiped in India since the Vedic times. People chant Gayatri mantra, offer prayers to departed ancestors.

People forget all bitterness or ill-feelings

On the day of Sankranti it is said that the Lord Sun (Surya) visits his son Shani. It is said that generally the two do not get along well but not this day, the Sun visits his son forgetting all differences of opinion. Hence, Makar Sankranti is considered to be a day to end bitter relationships. One must forget all the bitterness or ill-feelings and talk sweetly with everybody.

People also offer prayers to their departed ancestors

On this day, people also pray to Goddess Saraswati. Goddess Saraswati who is considered the God of knowledge is worshipped. People also offer prayers to their departed ancestors.

On this day, people make offerings to the animal kingdom, particularly the cow. Cow which plays a vital role in agriculture is worshipped. Birds, animals and fish are fed by young girls as sign of sharing.

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