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Makar Sankranti Festival

(A Festival of New Beginnings, New Resolutions and New Commitments)

Makar Sankranti will be celebrated on the 15th of January (Friday) in 2016. Makar Sankranti, also known as Sankranti or Makara Sankrant is a highly auspicious Hindu festival celebrated in almost every part of India and Nepal. It is the first Hindu festival of the year and is dedicated to the worship of Lord Surya Dev (Sun God). It is a harvest festival celebrated differently in many cultural forms.

Makar Sankranti denotes neutralization of illusion by lighting inner glow. Makar Sankranti is also called a festival of thanksgiving. On this day, people appreciate each other, perform and pay homage to the Supreme Being for the support He extended throughout the year.

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Makar Sankranti is celebrated to mark the transition of Sun into the zodiac sign Capricorn of Makara rashi on its celestial path. This day also marks the arrival of spring in India which is celebrated traditionally. Sankranthi is one of the rare Indian festivals that falls on the same date every year in the Gregorian calendar (barring a few exceptions). It usually falls on the 13th or 14th or 15th of January. The Makar Sankranti date for 2016 is 15th of January (Friday).

On the day of Makar Sankranti Sun begins its northward movement in the Makar Rashi (Capricorn). As per Vedic astrology 15th January is a very rare and very auspicious day. The four day festivities of Makar Sankranti will begin on 14th Jan – 17th Jan 2016. Makar Sankranti has a profound spiritual significance and refers to a transitional phase where the Sun transits from the house of Sagittarius to the house of Capricorn. It is the festival of new beginnings, new resolutions and new commitments.

Makar Sankranti Punya Kaal Muhurta

2016 Makara Sankranti Phalam
Punya Kaal Muhurta = 07:18 to 12:47 (Duration = 5 Hours 29 Mins, Sankranti Moment = 01:35)
Mahapunya Kaal Muhurta = 07:18 to 09:08 (Duration = 1 Hour 49 Mins)

On the day of Makar Sankranti, Lord Surya is worshipped in the form of Nature Worship. The ritualistic bathing at the Sangam (confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati) in Allahabad is considered pious. People also take a dip in the waters of Ganges. This ritualistic bathing is believed to cleanse one’s sins and open the doors towards Moksha. The day time of Devas known as Uttarayana Punyakalam, which lasts for a period of six months starts with Makar Sankranti. This is an ideal time to do auspicious activities.

Makar Sankranti is celebrated throughout India by different communities in different ways (and in different names).

AreaCelebrated AsDishesSpecial Events
AssamBhogali Bihu  
Andhra Pradesh & TelanganaSankrantiChakinalu, Nuvvula Appalu, Katte Appalu, Madugulu, Bellam Appalu, kudumulu, Ariselu, Appalu dappalamYoung girls feed the animals, birds and fish as a symbol of sharing.
Bihar and JharkhandMakar Sankranti or Sakraat or KhichdiKhichdi, Dahi-chuda, Tilkut and LaiWorshiping and putting til (sesame seeds) into fire
Delhi and HaryanaSakraat or SankrantiChurmaBrother of married woman visits her home with a gift
GoaMakar Sankranti Haldi-kumkum
GujaratUttarayanUndhiyu, ChikkiKite flying
Himachal PradeshMagha SaajiKhichdi with Ghee and ChaasCeremonial dips and shower
KarnatakaSuggiEllu-Bella, Sakkare AcchuDrawing rangoli in groups, Kite flying
Kerala(Celebrated at Sabrimala where the Makara Jyothi is visible) Makaravilakku celebrations
Uttarakhand (Kumaon)Makara SankrantiKhichadiCeremonial dips in holy rivers, Uttarayani fairs, celebrate the festival of Ghughutia or Kale Kauva
MaharashtraMakara SankrantiHalwa, Til-Gul Laadoo, Gulachi Poli / Puran Poli, TilgudHaldi-Kumkum, Worship of Goddess Saraswati
OdishaSankrantiMakara chaula, rasagola, Khai/Liaa and chhena puddingsCelebrated with great enthusiasm, singing, dancing etc.
PunjabMaghi / LohriKheer, Khichdi, jaggeryEat sumptuous food and Dance
RajasthanSankrat/ Makar SankratiPheeni, til-paati, gajak, kheer, ghevar, pakodi, puwa, and til-laddooSankrant Bhoj, Kite flying
Tamil NaduPongal (4-Day Celebration)Vadai, murukku, payasamBoiling rice with fresh milk and jaggery in new pots
Uttar PradeshSankrantiTil ladoo and gud laddoFirst of the big bathing days, Kite Flying
West BengalPoush Sankranti / Poush Parbon, Magey Sakrati (in certain places)Khejurer Gur, PataliPithaBaharlaxmi Puja

Makar Sankranti Story

It is believed that on this auspicious day Lord Surya visits his son, Lord Shani who is the ruling Deity of Makar Rashi (Capricorn). As per Hindu mythology Surya Dev and Shani Dev don't get along well. But on this auspicious day they put their bitterness for each other behind them and make a new beginning.

As per Mahabharata, the warrior Bhishma Pitamah leaves his earthy body on this day. It is believed that those who pass away on this day/time attain Moksha or liberation.

It is on this day that King Bhagirath brought the Holy Ganga to Earth, thus providing Moksha to the 60,000 sons of Maharaj Sagar. The king offered an oblation of the Gangajal to liberate the souls.

Lord Vishnu, on this day put an end to the surging violence of the demons and buried their heads under the foothills of Mandar Parvat.

Surya Mantra

  • 'Om Hram Hreem Hroum Sah Suryaya Namah'
  • On the day of Makar Sankranti, Surya Mantra Japa should be done and He should be worshipped.

Rudraksha and Gemstones

  • Wearing a Ruby gemstone or a 12 mukhi Rudraksha bead on the day of Makar Sankranti is thought to be highly beneficial.

Festival of New beginnings

  • It is believed that sharing sweets on this auspicious day will fill their lives with sweetness in the year to come. It is the festival to let bygones be bygones, forge new relationships and start the new beginnings.
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