Hindu religion is always exclusive because of its religious festivals and rituals celebrated through great devote and enthusiasm. If one starts counting the number of festivals celebrated in India then it will be troublesome to depict the actual number. One of the sacred religious festivals in the Hindu Calendar, the Makara Sankranti marks its place at another level. Let’s know some facts and beliefs about Makara Sankranti and how it is celebrated through out India. Also here you will get details about Makar Sankranti in Odisha .
What Makar Sankranti Actually Is?
Well, according to Hindu calendars, most of the festivals In India are observed in reference with the Lunar cycle and Solar Cycle. Makara Sankranti is one of the some festivals observed in reference with the Solar Cycle and marks the first day of Sun’s transit into the Makara (Capricorn). Being one of the ancient and cultural festival of India, it almost falls every year on January 13 or 14 or 15 (Mostly on 14). People of different states celebrate the occasion in different styles. But the maim motto of all is to worship the deity Surya (Sun).
What do the ‘myths’ say?
As per Hindu mythological beliefs, there are a number of reasons to celebrate the Makar Sankranti.
One is, because on this day, the Sun visits the Capricorn constellation to meet his Sutputra (foster child) Shani (Saturn). Shani and Sun don’t share a good father son relationship but Shani cares for his father as he is the owner of the constellation and his father the Sun is a guest that day.
Another myth says, The great savior of his ancestors, Maharaj Bhagirath, did great Tapasya to bring Ganga down on the earth for the redemption of 60,000 sons of Maharaj Sagar, who were burnt to ashes at the Kapil Muni Ashram, near the present day Ganga Sagar. It was on this day that Bhagirath finally did tarpan with the Ganges water for his unfortunate ancestors and thereby liberated them from the curse. Thus Makar sankranti marks the start of good luck and fortune for all endeavors.
Whaterver may be the reason, but Makar sankranti celebration In India is full of decorations, games, events, music and joy. Let’s have a look at the other names by which it is known in different states and how is it celebrated there.
How Makar Sankranti Celebrated in Odisha ?
Chhatisgarh, Goa, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal and Jammu, all these states call the festival as ‘Makar Sankranti. On this day, homes and streets are decorated, children move from door to door to collect offerings and pocket money, kite are flew, games are played. Some people do fasting on this day due to some religious beliefs.
For most parts of India, this period is a part of early stages of the Rabi crop and agricultural cycle, where crops have been sown and the hard work in the fields is mostly over. The time thus signifies a period of socializing and families enjoying each other’s company, taking care of the cattle, and celebrating around bonfires.
In Odisha, Makara Sankranti is celebrated by observing Puja( worship) , preparing dishes, flying kites and in some places Mela (fairs) are organized. Specially you can lot of devotees in Puri Jagannath Temple. So don’t forget take the blessings of lord Jagannath suring this Makar Sankranti in Odisha.
The festival Makar Sankranti is popularly known as Pongal in the southern States of India like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry but has strong resemblance with the Makar Sankranti. It is. celebrated as the harvest festival worshipping the god Sun for yielding better crops. The occasion is celebrated in Tamil speaking states with great cheer and enthusiasm by feasting, gift giving and visiting homes.
Other states also celebrate the Makar Sankranti with different names like:
Sakraat or Khichdi In Bihar, Jharkhand, Delhi and Haryana, Uttarayan in Gujarat, Magha Saji in Himachal Pradesh, Suggi in Karnataka.
Is it Celebrated Globally?
Yes of course, the festival of Makar Sankranti is also celebrated globally. In the countries like Nepal Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Malaysia and Singapore, Makar Sankranti is celebrated as different names but with same cultural and religious significance.
Finally, in the forthcoming Makar Sankranti may the god Sun bring you all happiness and blessings.
Happy Makar Sankranti…