Makar Sankranti/Lohri/Pongal Makar Sankranti/Lohri/Pongal

Makar Sankranti Festival 2015

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

Surya DevIn 2015 Makar Sankranti will be celebrated on 15th January, 2015 - Thursday. On the day of Makar Sankranti Sun begins its northward movement in the Makar Rashi (Capricorn). In 2015 Sun will enter Capricorn at 1:30 AM (Midnight), Makar Sankranti will be celebrated from 6 hours before that time to 12 hours after that time. As the festival will start after midnight thus Makar Sankranti in 2015 will be celebrated on the next day, i.e. on 15th January 2015. Also as per Vedic astrology 15th January is a very rare and very auspicious day. Four day festivities of Makar Sankranti will begin on 14th Jan – 17th Jan 2015. 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. It is the festival where you start everything afresh, forgetting the past failures and resolving to initiate new things with more energy.

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 Makar Sankranti Puja & Homa and pay homage to the Supreme Being for the supporting He extended throughout the year.

Makar Sankranti festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fanfare all across India. Makar Sankranti is primarily a harvest festival dedicated to Sun. On the day of Makar Sankranti the Sun begins its northward movement in to the zodiac sign of Makar (Capricorn). Makar Sankranti is one of very few Hindu festivals that are celebrated on the same day every year as the day is celebrated depending on the movement of the Sun. Makar Sankranti is celebrated on 14th of January every year as per the Gregorian calendar.

In 2015 Makar Sankranti will be celebrated on 15th of January. In many parts of the country Makar Sankranti is celebrated for 4 consecutive days. Makar Sankranti is one of the most widely celebrated Hindu festivals; it's known by various names throughout India. Makar Sankranti is known as Khichadi in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarayan in Gujarat, Lohri in Punjab, Bhogi Pandigai and Pedda Panduga in Andhra Pradesh, Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Bhogali Bihu in Assam and Makaravilakku in Kerala.

This festival gives us a message that we should gradually begin to nurture transparency, knowledge, and awareness, as the sun does from this day and perform our duties without execrating any return. It is considered to be a period of spiritual enlightenment, serenity, opulence and delight followed by a period of ignorance and enormous sorrow.

Makar Sankranti Story:

As per legends on the day of Makar Sankranti Surya Dev (Lord Sun) visits his son Shani. Lord Shani is the ruling Deity of Makar Rashi (Capricorn). In Vedic astrology Surya Dev and Shani Dev don't get along well, thus Makar Sankranti is the day on which past bitterness is forgotten and new beginning are made.

In the epic of Mahabharata, a wounded Bhishma Pitamah chose to linger on and only leave his body on this day, so that he can attain heavenly abode. It is believed that whoever dies during this time attains Nirvana (Moksha).

Also on the day of Makar Sankranti, Maharaj Bhagirath provided liberation to the souls of 60,000 sons of Maharaj Sagar by bringing Holy Ganga to earth.

On the day of Makar Sankranti, Surya Dev is worshiped and revered. Performing Surya Mantra Japa is highly recommended on the day of Makar Sankranti. Wearing a Ruby or a 12 mukhi Rudraksha bead on the day of Makar Sankranti is considered highly auspicious.

Surya Mantra: 'Om Hram Hreem Hroum Sah Suryaya Namah'

Mythical Reference :

As per the Puranas, God Sun pays visit to the house of Shani who is the swami of Makar Rashi (Capricorn), on this day. Despite of a conflicting relationship, Lord Sun meets Shani on this day.

It is believed that Lord Vishnu has stopped the ever increasing violence of the demons by killing and burying their heads under a mountain called Mandar Parvat on this day.

Maharaj Bhagirath did meditation to bring Ganga River down to the earth for the salvation of Maharaj Sagar's 60,000 sons. On this day, Bhagirath did the libation with the sacred water of Ganga and liberated them from the curse.

Significance of Till and Jaggery :

Til (Sesame Seed) and jiggery (Molasses) are an essential part of this festival. On this festival, people exchange till ladoos or tillguls (sweets made of Til and Jaggery). Since the seeds of till have a superior capability to attract and emanate Sattva frequencies, eating or distributing tilgul improves spiritual knowledge. When we share sweets made of sesame seeds, we share the Sattvic elements. The essential concept in the exchange of sweets is to disregard the precedent ill-feelings and conflict and decide to create a friendly atmosphere around.

Festival of New beginnings :

People celebrate Makar Sankranti festival in different ways in different parts of the country. People hold a belief that sharing of sweets on this auspicious day will fill their lives with sweetness in the year to come. It's the start of a new beginning where everything will be started anew.


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