Makar Sankranti, an ancient Hindu festival, marks the transition of the sun into the zodiac sign of Capricorn, known as Makara in Sanskrit. Celebrated annually on January 14th or 15th, this festival holds immense cultural and spiritual significance in India, heralding the arrival of longer days and the onset of the harvest season.
When is Makar Sankranti- 14 or 15 January 2024?
Makar Sankranti will be celebrated in the new year on Monday, January 15, 2024. On this day, the Sun will enter Capricorn at 02:54 am. Makar Sankranti is known by many different names across the country, like Uttarayan, Pongal, Makarvilakku, and Magh Bihu.
Makar Sankranti Shubh Muhurat & Astronomical Significance
According to the scriptures, bathing and donating in the holy river on Makar Sankranti brings unending virtue coinciding with the movement of the sun into the zodiac sign of Capricorn. This transition, known as Uttarayan in Hindu astrology, signifies the sun's northward movement, marking the end of the winter solstice and the beginning of longer, warmer days. Here's Makar Sankranti shubh muhurat:
- Makar Sankranti Punya Kaal – 06.41 am – 06.22 pm
- Duration – 11 hours 41 minutes
- Makar Sankranti Maha Punya Kaal – 06.41 am – 08.38 am
- Duration – 1 hour 57 minutes
Why is Makar Sankranti Celebrated?
Makar Sankranti holds diverse regional significance across India. Primarily, it marks the onset of the harvest season, celebrating the abundance of crops and the prosperity they bring. It's a time when farmers express gratitude for a successful harvest and pray for a bountiful year ahead. Additionally, this festival holds religious and spiritual significance, symbolizing the transition from darkness to light, ignorance to knowledge, and is associated with new beginnings and spiritual renewal.
Makar Sankranti 2024
Makar Sankranti Significance and Traditions
One of the most notable traditions of Makar Sankranti is the ritualistic act of taking a holy dip in sacred rivers like the Ganges, Yamuna, or Godavari, believed to cleanse sins and bestow blessings. Flying colorful kites is another cherished tradition during this festival, symbolizing the freedom of the soul and the arrival of spring. The exchange of til-gul, a sweet made from sesame seeds and jaggery, signifies the bonding of relationships and the sweetness of life.
Makar Sankranti Rituals and Importance
Devotees wake up before sunrise, take a ceremonial bath, and offer prayers to the sun god, expressing gratitude for light and life. People also donate food, clothes, and other essentials to the less fortunate, emphasizing the spirit of charity and compassion.
The festival is celebrated with immense joy, feasting on traditional delicacies like til ladoos, chikkis, and various regional dishes made from freshly harvested crops. Families come together, visit temples, and engage in cultural performances, fostering a sense of unity and happiness.
Makar Sankranti signifies more than just the change of seasons; it embodies the spirit of gratitude, joy, and hope. It's a festival that transcends religious boundaries, bringing people together to celebrate the vibrancy of life, the richness of harvest, and the promise of a prosperous and auspicious year ahead.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 14, 2024 12:10 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).