Makar-Sankranti

Makar Sankranti is one of the most propitious events for people from Hindu religion. It is celebrated with full enthusiasm in almost all parts of India as well as Nepal. The occasion is celebrated in numberless rich cultural forms and traditions, with enormous fervor devotion, and gaiety. This is also known as Harvest Festival and is celebrated on every 14th of January (with rare exception of being celebrated on 15th or 13th sometimes) every year. This festival is widely marked as the arrival of spring season in India which is considered a sign of happiness.

This day, millions of people around India take a dip in the holy waters of Ganga and offer prayers to God. The most famous tradition associated with this auspicious day is flying of kites. It is said that by flying your kites high, a person tries to reach up to his glorious God to seek blessings. Makar Sankranti symbolizes a time of peace, illumination, affluence along with prosperity and happiness.

Makar Sankranti has a deep significance in Hindu religion as per Puranas. This is considered the day when Sun visits his son Shani for a period of a month. It is believed that Sun and Shani do not usually get along gently and nicely with each other but in spite of this, Sun makes this day as a point to meet his son every year and stays in his house for a month. So eventually this day marks the significance of special kind of relationship between a son and his father, since it is the duty of a son to carry forward his father’s dreams as well as for the continuity of the family.
This festival also has the significance of trying to be close to one’s God with the tradition of flying high kites.

This day has got various legends associated with it. According to one legend, this is the day when king Bhagirath was able to get Ganga on earth to remove the curse of his ancestors. The Ganga after freeing Bhagirath’s ancestors’ curse emerged as a river on earth. As per another legend, this is the day when Lord Vishnu killed the Asuras and hence removing bad and evil spirits from earth bringing peace, harmony and happiness to the planet. This day is also known as the fortunate day when the great Bhishma Pitamah left his mortal coil to attain Moksha.

The general tradition for Makar Sankranti involves cooking some sweets (as per tradition of the area). Then a Pooja is done and during day time, people spend time with friends and neighbors while flying kites. Some people make a visit to their friends and relatives with sweets as gifts.

Makar Sankranti is a festival that is celebrated in entire India with a blend of every state’s own unique touch to it. As a tourist, if you wish to enjoy this prosperous festival, then you can enjoy it in Maharashtra while enjoying the sweets and kite flying. Punjab is also a good option since it is celebrated as Lohri there.

This festival is celebrated with enthusiasm in southern parts of India as Pongal, while in Punjab, it is renowned as Lohri (and Maghi). In rural areas of India, this day is celebrated with cock fights along with ladies cooking Til Laddu with jaggery. In some areas, this festival is celebrated by worshipping the goddess of knowledge, Saraswati.

In Maharashtra, Makar Sankranti is celebrated by exchanging Halwa and Til Laddu with your loved ones. The primary thought in such an exchange of is to overlook the past hostilities and bad feelings with love and to speak sweetly with each other with a promise to remain friends. Kite flying is done with great keenness in Maharashtra. People from Odisha celebrate it by making Makar Chaula while people from Rajasthan cook Ghevar, Pheeni, Gajak, Til-paati, Pakodis and Kheer.