Makar Sankranti – Embracing the Transition
Makar Sankranti is a Hindu festival dedicated to Surya. The name Makar Sankranti consists of two Sanskrit words “Makar” and “Sankranti”. The word “Makar” means “Capricorn zodiac sign” and “Sankranti” translates to “transition”. Hence, the festival marks the transition of the sun into Capricorn zodiac sign. It also signifies the arrival of the spring season in India. The festival is also associated with the harvest as is it is believed to be the first day of the new harvest season. It is regarded as one of the most auspicious phases in Hinduism and is one of the most important festivals of not only India but Nepal as well.
The rituals of Makar Sankranti are very simple and joyous. People wake up early in the morning, take bath and wear new and clean clothes. The devotees and worshippers then offer prayers to Surya. They also visit nearby temples and offer flowers, fruits, garlands, incenses etc. to the deities. One of the most popular rituals of Makar Sankranti is kite flying in which people of all ages gather together and fly colorful and decorated kites with their friends and family. On this day people prepare delicious food items and sweet dishes and enjoy the festival with their family members by spending time together.
Beliefs and Significance
According to various Vedic texts and religious scriptures, Surya visits his son ShaniShani
Shani, literally means the one who moves very... on the day of Makar Sankranti. It is also believed that on this day VishnuVishnu
Vishnu is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindus and is a part of Hindu Trinity,.. killed the Asuras by crushing their heads under the Mandara Mountain, and ended their reign of tyranny and terror. Thus, the festival signifies the end of evil and the beginning of everything that is good and new. The festival of Makar Sankranti is celebrated with greatest devotion and passion in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh where the famous Kumbh Mela is organized. Here, thousands of devotees from all over the world gather together on the ghats of river GangaGanga
According to Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu in one of.... and take bath in the holy river by taking dips into it. It is believed that by doing this the devotees are freed from all their sins and are blessed by the gods with moksha. Makar Sankranti symbolizes the joy, vigor and excitement one possesses for the new beginning.