Makar Sankranti: A worship of God Surya

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Makar Sankranti is celebrated on 14th January every year. Makar Sankranti is one of the starting festival of the year. This festival is one of the religious festival of 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 holy bath in Ganga for absolution of sins. On this day people donate (daan) wheat, rice, sweets etc by taking name of God for happiness and prosperity. 
On Makar Sankranti lots of peoples from different states of India goes to Prayag for taking holy bath and for there prayer for Sun. 
Makar Sankranti is celebrated by flying colourful kites in sky in different parts of India.

In this Auspicious occassion people exchange jaggery in 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 ending of winter season and end of unlucky periods. 

Fact Behind Makar Sankranti:
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 gets 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.

Significance of Makar Sankranti Puja:
On the day of Makar Sankranti one should take a holy bath (Snaan) and be giving donation (daan). The holy bath epitomizes purity and mode of goodness. One should offer water to Sun while bathing. Sun entering the Capricorn sign increases the energies of sun that enter our body through the sun rays.
Taking 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 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”

How to do Puja on Makar Sankranti:
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.

•    All the idols should be cleaned and properly placed in Puja table. This Puja will be conducted to seek blessings of Lord Surya, so keep his idol or image at table.
•    Take the plate to keep four black and four white Til laddoos. Keep some money in the plate.
•    Among other ingredients are turmeric powder, rice flour, wheat, flowers, holy water and incense sticks.
•    An offering for God consist of a sweet dish, four laddoos of black and white til and some money. Put all this in a plate.
•    Keep this plate of offering in front of Lord Surya and start the puja prayers.
•    During the prayer ladies should cover their heads with dupatta.
•    Chant the Surya Mantra for Minimum 21 times or 108 times:
“Om Hram Hreem Hroum Sah Suryaya Namah”

Benefits of Puja:
•    Enhances and Purifies the body.
•    The offering done the time of Puja yields successful results.
•    It’s a auspicious time to spread sprituality and dharma in society.

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