Makar Sankranti

What is Makar Sankranti?

The Sun begins northward journey which marks as Makara Sankranti. Sankranti will be celebrated on the 15 th of January (Friday) in 2016. This is festival is  one of the most auspicious day for the Hindus. It is the first Hindu festival of the year 2016 and is dedicated to the worship of Lord Surya bhagavan. It is a harvest festival celebrated differently in many cultural forms.

Different names of Sankranti

Makar Sankranti is celebrated all across India by different names and rituals associated with this pious day. Other names include 'Khichri' in Uttar Pradesh, 'Pongal' in Tamil Nadu, 'Bhogali Bihu' in Assam, 'Sakarat' in Central India and 'Lohri' in Punjab and northern India.

Sankranti Festival Celebrations

Makar Sankranti marks the transition of the Sun into the zodiac sign of Makara rashi (Capricorn) on its celestial path.
This also marks the inception of the holy phase of Uttarayana which is considered the best time for attaining 'mukti'. All Punya Kaal activities should be done day time. 
This festival is celebrated for four days as Bhogi, Sankranti, Kanuma, Mukkanuma. 
Lights of wood(Bhogi fire), children showered with Jujube fruits, piles of cow dung, called gobbemma on Rangolis, Haridasu, flying kites, Toy Galleries at homes, Hens betting  are main attractions of this festival. 

Sankranti Rituals

As per the Sanatana shastras, Sankranthi is the most auspicious period for Punya Snan in Holy Rivers like Ganga, Godavari, Krishna, Cauvery, Narmada, etc.

Ravi Sankramane Prapthe Nasnaya dyasthu manavah|
Sapthajanma surogasyath nirdhanaschaiva jaayathe||

It means, Devata puja and stotra parayana are the best deeds to perform on Sankranti.

Sankranti Purushotpatti – Kaale daanam swashaktitha|
Phalam kansyadhi dhanyani deeyathe dosha naashanam||
Phalaani mulanyajinam suvarnam graamaam shukaadhyam sathilekshu gavah|
dhanyam kharaamshoh makara pravesh ethani daanaani visheshithani||
It states, during the period of Sankramana, donating dhanyam (grains), suvarnam (gold), phala (fruits), vasthram (clothes), vegetables, Til (sesame), sugarcane, cow, etc. is highly meritorious.
 

2016 Makara Sankranti festival dates

14th Jan 2016: Bhogi Festival, Goda Kalyanam, Andal Kalyanam

15th Jan 2016: Sankranthi, Uttarayana Punyakalam, Makaravilakku at Sabarimala Temple, Gangasagar Mela. Magh Bihu (Bhogali Bihu).

16th Jan 2016: Kanuma

17th Jan 2016: Mukkanuma


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