Significance of Makar Sankranti

image 2018-01-14 09:39:03
Significance of Makar Sankranti

Harvest Festival:
This festival is related to foodgrain harvesting; it is also called Lohri in Punjab. Traditionally Lohri is associated with the harvest of Rabi crop. This is the time to sow sugarcane crop, which is harvested between December and March with a 12 to 18 month cycle. Sugarcane products such as gur and gajak are an important part of Lohri.

Significance of sesame sweets:
On Makar Sankranti, people traditionally share and eat sweets and laddoos made of sesame (til) and jaggery (gur) that helps in keeping our body warm during the still chilly weather. By distributing these sweets to each other, there is an exchange of sattvikta. According to Ayurveda, eating sesame seeds in winters is beneficial for our health.

On this day many fairs are held in different regions of India. The biggest fair is held at Ganga Sagar in West Bengal, where River Ganga enters the sea thousands of pilgrims and sadhus come here for the holy bath on Makar Sankranti. The bullock festival, cattle fair is held at different places on this day, where camels, horses and bullocks are sold and purchased. A famous and unique fair is held at Rajgir in Bihar.

People fly kites in the mornings and take a dip in holy rivers like Ganga and Yamuna. It is a ritual which is believed to wash away sins. In Gujarat people start manufacturing kites in large numbers a month before Sankranti. Melas are a must during Makar Sankranti and the most famous one being the Kumbh Mela. Though Kumbh Mela is held in many places occasionally but it supposed to be held every 12 years in Haridwar, Prayag (Allahabad), Ujjain and Nashik. It is called the Magha Mela or mini-Kumbh Mela in Prayag), Makara Mela in Odisha and Tusu Mela in parts of Jharkhand and West Bengal.

The festival is dedicated to the Sun God and is a marker for new beginnings. As the sun takes a new journey and when winter begins to turn towards summer according to Hindu Calendar. In Hindu epics it is called the Uttaarayan. In Mahabharata, Bhishma Pitamah waited for the sun to be in Uttarayan for him to die peacefully.