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Makar Sankranti is celebrated on 14th January every year. Makar Sankranti is one of the starting festivals of the year. This festival is one of the religious festivals of the Hindu community which is celebrated in the prayers for Lord Surya.
Makar Sankranti is also known by Onam, Pongal, Khichdi, etc in different places in India. This festival is mainly celebrated in Western India.
In Makar Sankranti people take a holy bath in Ganga for the absolution of sins. On this day people donate (daan) wheat, rice, sweets, etc by taking the name of God for happiness and prosperity.
On Makar Sankranti, lots of peoples from different states of India go to Prayag for taking a holy bath and for there a prayer for Sun.
Makar Sankranti is celebrated by flying colorful kites in the sky in different parts of India. In this Auspicious occasion people exchange jaggery in the form of sweets and Til which is the symbol of love and joy.
It is the festival for farmers as the harvesting is complete and they celebrate it. This festival also signifies the ending of the winter season and the end of unlucky periods.
As per cultural aspects it is believed that on this auspicious day of Makar Sankranti, Lord Surya visits his son Lord Shani, who is also representative of Capricon. To celebrate the healthy relationship between Father and Son, despite their differences, Makar Sankranti is considered significant. It is also believed that if a father visits his son on this particular day conflicts get resolved and positivity is spread with happiness and prosperity.
But as per scientific reason the festival is called Makar Sankranti because when the sun moves northward, the first zodiac to be crossed is Makara(Capricon) and the movement of the sun is called as “Sankranti”. The Sun continues its upward journey till May when it is highest in Summer.
On the day of Makar Sankranti one should take a holy bath (Snaan) and be donating (dana). The holy bath epitomizes purity and mode of goodness. One should offer water to the Sun while bathing. Sun entering the Capricorn sign increases the energies of the sun that enter our body through the sun rays.
Taking a bath in the water of Ganga is considered highly auspicious. It is said that the day Ganga dissolved in the ocean was the day of Makar Sankranti.
If it not possible for someone to take a dip in Ganga River, you can use Ganga Jal at home. Just mix it with your regular bathing water and chant the following mantra:
Ganga Cha Yamuna Chaiva Godavari Saraswati,
Narmada Sindhu Kaveri Jalesmin Sannidhim Kuru”
Before Starting Puja firstly keep the muhurta in mind.
In 2020 the Sankranti Muhurta will begin at 7:50 hrs.
The Mahapunya Kaal Muhurta will be between 07:50 hrs to 08:14 hrs.
Total Duration is just 24 mins.
“Om Hram Hreem Hroum Sah Suryaya Namah”