Makar Sankranti is one of the major Hindu festival ,which is celebrated in India .On this festival people takes bath by applying til or seesam seed on their body . This festival is marked with making delicous sweets and ladoos and offering it to Gods. It is one of the purest and most popular festival in Hinduism.
Why is it celebrated ?
According to Vedas ,Sankranti refers to the movement of Sun from one Rashi ( zodiac ) to the other .Hence , altogether there are 12 sankranti in a year.It is one of the very few festival which is align to solar cycle .Makar Sankranti marks the beginning of the harvest season and the new crops are worshipped and shared with joy.
This festival marks the sun’s movement to the Makar Rashi ( capricorn zodiac sign). It heralds a change in season, as from this day the Sun begins its movement from Dakshinayana (South) to Uttarayana (North) hemisphere.
1. Kite flying
Kite flying is one of the most important part of celebration in Makar Sankranti , especially in Gujrat . It is believed that this ritual came into play as a practice of good health . The idea was to expose oneself to the first light of the early morning forthcoming Summer sun and douse in the goodness of Vitamin D.
It is the festival of celebrating the new harvest . The food and sweets prepared are first offered to Gods and then eaten .Khichdi is the most common dish prepared on Sankranti , it is easily digestable and light food .Khichdi prepares the body for the change in season from the cold winter breeze to the light warmth of spring . Cooking and eatingh Khichdi of Makar Sankranti is also a symbol of unity since the dish is cooked in a single pot by uniting all the ingredients including freshly harvested rice, lentils, seasonal vegetables, and spices, together.
As per the hindu scriptures on the day of Makar Sankranti , Lord Vishnu defeated the demons and buried their heads under a mountain. This brought and end to the terror caused by them and also to the negative energies , giving a way to righteousness and a new opportunity to live with peace , and prosper. Devotees can attain spiritual benefits on this day by performing Sadhna or meditating on the name of Lord Vishnu.
It is suggested to wake before sunrise and take bath on the day of Makar Sankranti .After bathing one must pray to Surya Dev by reciting Gayatri Mantra, and offering water to Sun.
Sun is considered to be a manifestation of absolute , or ‘ Pratyaksha Brahman’, providing knowledge ,spiritual knowledge and wisdom .So this is a special festival to offer gratitude and prayers to the sun god.
The significance of Makar Sankranti is the movement . The movement from positivity to negativity , from sadness to joy . It is a new chance to begin our work with new joy and brings auspicious ways to get well and prosper in life.