About Sankranti Festival

When will be Makarsankranti

Makarsankranti will be on Jan 14 or Jan 15

Makar Sankranti date has an astrological significance, On this day the sun enters the Capricorn (Sanskrit: Makara) zodiac constellation on that day. The date for Makarsankranti festival remains mostly constant with respect to the Gregorian calendar. However, precession of the Earth's axis (called ayanamsa) causes Makara Sankranti to move over many years. A thousand years ago, Makara Sankranti was on 31 December and is now on 14 January. According to calculations, from 2050 Makar Sankranti will fall on 15 January.
Sankranti is derived from word - Sat + Kranti means good change or auspiciios movement. Sankranti also signify change. Sankranti is a day of month when sun moves from one Zodiac sign to other. Sankranti is considered an auspicious day.
Makar means Capricorn. On Makar Sankranti sun moves from Sagittarius into Capricorn.

Different names

Makarsankranti is celebrated with different names in various part of India and across the workd.

  • Makarsankranti in most of India
  • Pongal in AP, Tamilnadu
  • Makara Sankrama in Karnataka
  • Uttarayan in Gujarat
  • Kichdi in UP, Bihar, Uttarakhan
  • Maghi in Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab
  • Bhogali Bihu in Assam
  • Pongal in Srilanka
  • Maghe Sankranti in Nepal
  • Songkran in Thailand
  • Thingyan in Myanmar
  • Moha Sangkran in Combodia
  • Pi Ma Lao in Laos

Multi day festival

Sankranti, Sankranthi, Makar Sankranti or Makar Sankranthi is a celebrated on January 14th. But in 2016 Sankranti is on Jan 15.

Sankranti is a day of month when sun moves from one Zodiac sign to other.  It is derived from word - Sat + Kranti means good change or auspicious movement. Sankranti also signify change. Sankranti is considered very auspicious day.  Makar means Capricorn.  On Makar Sankranti sun moves from Sagittarius into Capricorn.

 

 

Sankranti vs Makar Sankranti

Sankranti is once in a month.  Makar Sankranti is celeberated once in year.

 

Makar Sankranti in India

 

Makar Sankranti is celeberated in every parts of India. In local language hindi, Telgu, Marathi, Kannada, Assamese it is written as

 

 

Hindi: मकर संक्रान्ति

Telugu: మకర సంక్రాంతి

Marathi: मकर संक्रान्ति

Kannada: ಮಕರ ಸಂಕ್ರಾಂತಿ

Assamese: মকৰ সংক্রান্তি

 

 

Makar Sankranti in South India

 

Makar Sankranthi is very special for Anadhra Pradesh or AP.  It is also known as Pongal festival.  the festival is celeberated for 3 days.  People wear new cloth, exchange gift. Rangolis (colorful decoration) are made at each home.

In Karnataka and Tamil nadu too Makar Sankranti is celebrated with equal enthusiasm. Farmers celebrate the harvesting of Suger cane.

 


Makar Sankranti in Western India

 

In Western India - Rajasthan, Gujrat, Maharashtra Makar Sankranti is a very special festival.
In Rjasthan, Gujrat a kite festival is organized.  The kite season starts before Sankranti.  On Jan 14 (Sankranti day), kite festival is celeberated full day. It is an official Kite day.  Gujrat even organize international kite festival on this day.  People reach to open areas or roof of their home.  Colorful and various shape kites are flown. 
 
In Gujrat Makar Sankranti is also known as Uttarayan


Makar Sankranti in North India

 

In North India - Delhi, Punjab, Haryana , Himachal - people make Khicdi in morning. Kichdi is made of rice and dal.  Families first donate Khichdi to temple/priest and then eat it in breakfast. The cities where holy river ganga flows such Allahabad, Haridwar - people take bath in river. In Ahmedabad Magh Mela (a fair) starts on Jan 14 morning.

Northern India also celeberate Lohri on night of Jan 13. Lohri denote the end of winter.  People use bon fire and dance. People eat Jaggary sweets (called Gajak, Rewari), peanuts while seating near the fire.

Makar Sankranti in Eastern India

In Bengal people celebrate this on Holy river Ganga. A Mela called "Ganga Sagar" is held on bank of river Ganga. In Assam festival is called - Bhogali Bihu

 

Not only i Eastern India, the festival is celebrated in neighbouring eastern countries such as Myanmar, Thialand.

There are different cultures in different states of India.  Sankranti brings joy for all states.

Farmers who grow suger cane in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab celebrate harvest of Sugar Cane. all states where River Gange is - people take holy bath.

In North India Makarsankranti is 1 day festival. In morning people cook Khichdi, offer prasad in temple. Kite festival is organized.
In South India Makarsankranti /Pongal is 3 day festival.
First day (One day before Sankranti) is for cleaning. It is referred as Bhogi. Also people pray Lord Indra for providing rain.
2nd day is Pongal. This is main day. People pray Lord Surya to help in harvesting. 2nd day is called Surya Pongal
3rd day is for Cattle. People thank cattle to help in harvesting. 3rd day is called Kanumu Pongal. On 3rd day people give bath to cattle, decorate their horns and deocrate them with flowers. Many people worship cows. In the evening of 3rd day races are orgaized for bulls to draw carts and to draw big stones.

history

Sankranti History

The festival of Makar Sankranti marks the day when the sun begins its northward journey and enters the sign of Makar (the Capricorn) from the Tropic of Cancer. It is like the movement of sun from Dakshinayana (south) to Uttarayana (north) hemisphere. It is the one of the few chosen Indian Hindu festivals which has a fixed date. This day falls on the 14th of January every year according to the Hindu Solar Calendar.

Sankranti means transmission of Sun from one zodiac in Indian astrology to the other. As per Hindu customary beliefs, there are 12 such Sankrantis in all. But the festival is celebrated only on the occasion of Makara Sankaranti i.e. the transition of the Sun from Sagittarius ('Dhanu' Rashi ) to Capricorn('Makara' Rasi). In this case, the zodiacs are measured sidereally, and not tropically, in order to account the Earth's precession. That is why the festival falls about 21 days after the tropical winter solstice which lies between December 20 and 23rd. Here the sun marks the starting of Uttarayana, which means northern progress of Sun.

It is believed that the great Bhishma of Mahabharatha who had fallen to the arrows of Arjun and who had a boon to choose the time of his death, waited on the bed of arrows to depart from this world only during this period.

Stories

Birds

In Utarakhan, Himachal Pradesh it is believed that from this day of Makarsakranti, which signals a change of season, the migratory birds start returning to the hills.

Day and nigh equal

On Makarsankranti festival date - day and night are equal.

Father and son

There is story that on Makarsankranti day the Sun God forgets his anger on his son Shani and visits him.
there is tradition that father visit their son on Makarsankrant day
Makarsankranti is related with Winter Solstice.
It is believed that the sun ends its southward journey (Sanskrit: Dakshinayana) at the Tropic of Capricorn, and then starts moving northward (Sanskrit: Uttarayaana) towards the Tropic of Cancer, in the month of Pausha on this day in mid-January.

Start of Spring season

In simple worlds - Lohri is considered end of winter.
Till end of winter - days are smaller and colder.
Next Day Sankranti marks the beginning of longer days and warmer and longer days compared to the nights.
In other words, Sankranti marks the end of winter season and beginning of a new harvest or spring season.

Kite flying

On Sankranti, in cities like Jaipur and Ahmedabad the whole sky is filled with kites - a million or more kites at the same time - all trying to cut each other down! This goes on all day - from before sunrise to after sunset. The whole family participates - lunch, tea and snacks are all served on the terrace; nobody goes indoors until it is too dark to fly anymore. And even then some people leave a kite flying through the night bearing aloft a paper lantern with a candle burning inside.

 

Makar Sankranti is the great traditional Indian kite festival. It falls on the 14th of January -- the only traditional Indian festival that falls on the same date every year. All other Indian festivals follow the lunar calendar, Makar Sankranti is the only one with a solar association -- it marks the transition of the sun into the Northern Hemisphere and is celebrated as a festival of life and fertility. Sweets made of molasses and sesame seeds are traditionally eaten on this day and whole cities come to a halt as everybody is on the rooftops, flying kites.

 

An interesting sidelight of Makar Sankranti is the poorer children who roam the streets, looking for kites that have been cut. The simple rule of "Finders Keepers" applies to any kite that's been cut and these children, too poor to afford buying even a simple paper kite, can still look forward to hours of fun with the kites they collect on Sankranti.

The international Desert Kite Festival is held every January in Jodhpur and Jaipur to coincide with Makar Sankranti and kite flyers from all over the world arrive to fly their own kites and participate in the riotous frenzy of Makar Sankranti by flying Indian fighter kites.

In Delhi kites are flown extensively on 26th January and 15th August - Republic Day and Independence Day.

It would be quite accurate to say that while kites are flown all over India as a part of various traditional festivals, Makar Sankranti is the one festival that is totally devoted to kites.

Celebration

On Lohri, Makar Sankranti people eat Til Gud, Gajjak, Revri,e sesame and jaggery laddoos, chikkis.
They are generally accompanied by the saying, "Til-gul ghya ani gud gud bola"
Festival fall in winter. This is perfect season to eat Til Gud.
Maghe Sankranti (Nepali:???? ??????????? Nepal Bhasa:???????? ??????) is a Nepalese festival observed on the first of Magh in the Bikram Samwat Nepali calendar (around 14th January) bringing an end to the ill-omened month of Poush when all religious ceremonies are forbidden.
On this day, the sun is believed to leave its southernmost position and begin its northward journey. Maghe Sankranti is similar to solstice festivals in other religious traditions.
Hindus take ritual baths during this festival, at auspicious river locations. These include Sankhamul on the Bagmati near Patan; In the Gandaki/Narayani river basin at Triveni near the Indian border, Devghat near Chitwan Valley and Ridi on the Kaligandaki; and in the Koshi River basin at Dolalghat on the Sun Koshi. Festive foods like laddoo, ghee and sweet potatoes are distributed. The mother of each household wishes good health to all family members.
As per Kirat community Maghe Sankranti denotes start of a new year which is called Yele Dhung. Based on the rical evidence Kirat calendar was started when King Yalamber conquered Kathmandu valley.
Makarsankranti is special day for the women in Maharashtra.
On this dayn married women are invited for a get-together called ‘Haldi-Kunku’ (literally meaning turmeric -vermillion) and given gifts such as utensils, clothes etc. On this day there is tradition of wearing Black sarees or black coloured outfits on this occasion.
The significance of wearing black is that Sankranti comes at the peak of the winter season and black colour retains and absorbs heat, helping keep warm.

When will be Makarsankranti

Makarsankranti will be on Jan 14 or Jan 15

Makar Sankranti date has an astrological significance, On this day the sun enters the Capricorn (Sanskrit: Makara) zodiac constellation on that day. The date for Makarsankranti festival remains mostly constant with respect to the Gregorian calendar. However, precession of the Earth's axis (called ayanamsa) causes Makara Sankranti to move over many years. A thousand years ago, Makara Sankranti was on 31 December and is now on 14 January. According to calculations, from 2050 Makar Sankranti will fall on 15 January.
Makar (capricorn) is a Hindu zodiac sign and Sankranti means to change direction. According to Hindu calendar, Makar sankranti occurs when sun changes its direction northwards from Dhanu Rashi (Sagittarius) to enter the Makar Rashi (Capricorn) in the month of Poush. Makar Sankranti is considered very auspicious day and it is believed any sacred ritual or task can be started or performed on this day and it will be fruitful .It marks the beginning of harvesting season and end of chilly winter season.
Makarsankranti celebration is also tied to end of winter, harvesting season and festival is celebrated to thank God for good harvesting season and providing prosperity.

Why Makarsankranti dates shift

Makarsankranti is generally on Jan 14. Due to precession of the Earth's axis (called ayanamsa) causes Makar Sankranti date shift over centuraies.
A thousand years ago, Makar Sankranti was on 31 December and is now on 14 January and occassionaly on Jan 15 (Once in 8 year).
According to calculations, commencing the year 2050, Makar Sankranti will fall on 15 January and occasionally on 16 January.

Why it is called uttaryanna

On Makarsankranti day the sun ends its southward journey (Sanskrit: Dakshinayana) at the Tropic of Capricorn, and starts moving northward (Sanskrit: Uttarayaana) towards the Tropic of Cancer, in the month of Pausha on this day.
Thats why festival is also referred as Uttarayaana.

India is to the north of the equator. With Makarsankranti the cold winter season finish and healty spring season start.





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