India is a land of festivities. One such festival, which is celebrated with huge pomp and show, but in different ways, is Makar Sankranti.
Makar Sankranti is mainly a harvest festivity. It is celebrated in different ways in different parts of the country. In Uttarayan, people take benefit of the powerful breezes to fly kites and organize tournaments with neighbors, and savour the food rich in Winter vegetables, such as Undhiyu, and sweets such as jalebi, chikki, and many more. Carnivals, meals, and farm festivals such as buffalo battle and pot-breaking are held in Assam.
For Lohri, Rabi harvests and winter foods such as chikki, puffed rice, corn, sesame seeds, rebar, jaggery, peanuts, and sugarcane are thrown into the traditional bonfire as an offering.
During Pongal, ceremonially, the food commodity Pongal – rice and dal cooked in milk – is prepared in earthen pots outside homes and delivered to the Gods as a thanksgiving.
Makar Sankranti precisely implies the “transition to Capricorn”, when the Sun shifts from Sagittarius to Capricorn. Similar zodiac sankrantis occur each month in the Hindu calendar, but Makar Sankrati is contemplated especially optimistic because of the introduction of the Sun’s “uttara” (north) -“ayana” (movement). The Sun is recognized to be moving into the northern hemisphere on this day.
This auspicious day is marked across the country with the consumption of jaggery-based sweets, signifying sweet beginnings and also because abundant quantities of jaggery would be available at this time after the cane-crushing begins in October.
Many people take a plunge at the Prayag or in the Ganga and its tributaries, to wash away their vices and imprint an elegant outset to their lives.
The day is usually commemorated on the advent of the month of Magh/Thai/Makaram. Most Indian months commence during the middle of the Gregorian month – which could be the 13th, 14th, 15th, or even 16th of a provided month.
Books33 wishes you a very Happy Makar Sankranti and hopes that this year brings peace, and prosperity to the lives of every one of us.