While everyone is busy making laddu, pitha, chikkis, while young men are safeguarding their “bhelaghor”, wishing friends and relatives for this day, I am cock-a-hooped to perspicacious on January 14th celebration of “Makar Sankrati”. So, go over!
- Why is it called Makar Sankrati: It is called Makar Sankrati makes the transition of the Sun into the zodiac sign “makara” (Capricorn) on this date. The day is also believed to mark the arrival of Spring in India.
- Harvest festival: It is a major harvest festival and all over the country, Makar Sankrati is observed with great fanfare.
- It has a fixed Date: Very few of Indian festivals have fixed date. But, Makar Sankrati is celebrated on a fixed date 14th January, because of fixed calendric day of the solar calendar. Though, thousand years ago, it was on 31st December due to possession of the earth’s axis call “Ayanamsa”.
- One festival many names: In India it is known by different regional names like – Magh Bihu, Maghi, Uttarayan, lohri, Pongal, Khichdi, Sishur Saeankraat, Makar Sakraman.
- Pilgrimage: Millions of people take a dip in places like Ganga Sagar, Prayag river and pray to the Sun god.
- There is also Importance of other God and Goddess on this day: Makar Sankrati is also to honour, pray and offer respect to Saraswati (Goddess of knowledge), Sun God- as he regarded as regarded as the symbol of divinity and wisdom and prayers to Lord Vishnu.
- It’s about eatin a lot: Since, the festival is celebrated in mid winter, many delicious food is made in a way, which keeps body warm and gives energy. The dominant ingredients of these snacks and delicacies are, newly harvest rice, Sesame seeds, jaggery, peanut, coconut and curd. In eastern region the state call Assam have grand feast and local wine too.
- Full of activities: On this day, every town and cities people play with kites and the sky filled with beautiful and colorful kites, followed by other activities like bull fighting, ox racing, cock fighting, egg tapping or egg knocking.
- Equinox: On Makar Sankrati day and night is equally long.