What is Makar Sankranti?
India’s many cultures and customs are among the country’s most amazing characteristics. Think about Makar Sankranti. An event honoring the arrival of spring is held here. Farmers start their harvest at this time and give thanks to the Sun God. This holiday is known by several names and is observed in varied ways across the nation. Some states only observe Makar Sankranti for one day, while others observe it for three to four days. On January 14, 2023, the major Makar Sankranti event will take place. The festivities begin on January 13 and go through January 17.
Significance of Makar Sankranti
Capricorn’s zodiac sign is Makar or Makaram. Sankranti denotes a transfer or migration. This event takes place on the day that the sun enters the Capricorn sign. The weather gradually gets better starting on Makar Sankranti day, signaling the change from winter to spring. As trees and bushes begin to blossom, farmers harvest their harvest and get ready to plant crops for the following season.
The Makar Sankranti event is also known as the Harvest Festival for obvious reasons. In areas where farming is still a key industry, people eagerly anticipate and enjoy the holiday.
People get up before dawn and choose to take baths in rushing rivers on this day to wash their sins away.
Celebration of Makar Sankranti
Makar Sankranti is an auspicious day in the Hindu calendar for the worship of the Lord because Hindus worship the Sun God or Surya Deva. Even though there are 12 Sankranti in all, Makar Sankranti is the most important and is thus celebrated across the country along with several spiritual rituals. Some regions celebrate Uttarayana Day on Sankranti. The term Uttarayana derives from the Sanskrit words Uttara, which means north, and Ayana, which means six months or the day of the Winter Solstice when the Sun starts to move northward. Since the harvest season falls around this time of year, the Harvest Festival represents the spirit of Sankranti in many different regions of India.
Food plays a significant role in the celebration of every event in India, sesame and jaggery laddoos become a scrumptious delight.
Flying kites and wearing black clothing on Sankranti
The flock of bright kites being flown in the winter morning sky is one of the festivals of Makar Sankranti’s most eye-catching sights. Competitions for kite flying are also held often. Given that kites may be flown at great altitudes, closer to what some people think of as Heaven, many people view this enjoyable activity as a way to express gratitude to the Gods.
Although black is often seen as an unlucky color when it comes to festivals and religious events, black is frequently thought of as the color of Makar Sankranti. But rather than being religious, the relationship with Sankranti is based on a common scientific notion since the Sun begins its trip towards the Northern Hemisphere during Makar Sankranti, many think that wearing black will help them absorb all of the positive energy of the Sun and keep them warm throughout the frigid winter days of celebration.
Celebration of Makar Sankranti in different Indian states
Below we will see how the 3 states of India i.e. Uttar Pradesh, Gujrat, and Tamil Nadu where Sankranti is a prominent festival celebrated.
Gujarati Vasi Uttarayan
Gujarat is the state with the largest kite celebration during Makar Sankranti. The International Kite Festival Uttarayan, which attracts visitors from countries like Italy, Malaysia, Japan, and others, is prepared for in Gujarat months before it takes place in January. Nearly every neighborhood had impromptu kite-selling shops put up, transforming the area into a Pataang Bazaar.
Uttar Pradesh Khichdi
A rice and lentil dish known as “khichdi” is distributed as a gift on Makar Sankranti in North Indian areas like Uttar Pradesh. As a result, in these locations, the event is known as Khichdi. There have been occasions when offerings have included clothing, blankets, and even gold. People fast during the day in addition to giving to charities. The Khichdi Mela, a significant fair, is conducted in Gorakhpur.
Tamil Nadu Pongal
Pongal is the name of a sweetened meal made of rice that is ritually consumed on Makar Sankranti in Tamil Nadu, giving the festival’s name to the region. It is often referred to as the harvest festival of thankfulness. Different lively traditions commemorate the days of Bhogi Pongal, Surya Pongal, Mattu Pongal, and Kanum Pongal, which are all celebrated over four days. Another important component of the celebrations in the state is the kolam or rangoli.
Overall, Makar Sankranti is a harvest, new year, and kite-flying celebration when friends and family get together to celebrate and have a good time. It is a celebration of joy and the arrival of fresh beginnings.