Makara Sankranti is one of the most auspicious occasions for the Hindus, and is celebrated in almost all parts of India and Nepal in a myriad of cultural forms, with great devotion, fervour, and gaiety. It is a harvest festival.
Makara means Capricorn Zodiac Sign and Sankranti means transition of the Sun from one zodiac sign to another. Thus Makar Sankranti is the day that marks the transition of the Sun into Makara rashi (Capricorn) on its celestial path. The day is also believed to mark the arrival of spring in India.
Makara Sankranti is a solar event making it perhaps the only Indian festival whose date always falls on the same day every year: 14 January, with some exceptions, when the festival is celebrated on 13 January or 15 January.
Makara Sankranti, apart from a harvest festival is also regarded as the beginning of an auspicious phase in Indian culture. It is said as the ‘holy phase of transition’. It marks the end of an inauspicious phase which according to the Hindu calendar begins around mid-December. It is believed that any auspicious and sacred ritual can be sanctified in any Hindu family, this day onwards. Scientifically, this day marks the beginning of warmer and longer days compared to the nights. In other words, Sankranti marks the termination of winter season and beginning of a new harvest or spring season.
According to Puranas, on the day of Makara Sankranthi, God Sun pays visit to the house of his son Shani (Saturn) who is the swami of Makar Rashi (Capricorn Zodiac sign). To Hindus, the Sun stands for knowledge, spiritual light and wisdom. Makara Sankranti signifies that we should turn away from the darkness of delusion in which we live, and begin to enjoy a new life with bright light within us to shine brighter and brighter. We should gradually begin to grow in purity, wisdom and knowledge even as the Sun does from the Day of Makara Sankranti.
The festival of Makara Sankranti is highly regarded by the Hindus from north to south. The day is known by various names and a variety of traditions are witnessed as one explores the festival in different states. Owing to the vast geography and diversity of culture in India, this festival is celebrated for innumerable reasons and in innumerable ways depending on the climate, agricultural environment, cultural background and location. On this day children fly kites.
In India, the festival is known by different regional names.
Pongal: Tamil Nadu
Makar Sankranti: Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand , West Bengal and Rajasthan
Maghi: Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab
Bhogali Bihu: Assam
Shishur Saenkraat: Kashmir Valley
Khichdi: Uttar Pradesh and western Bihar
Makara Sankramana: Karnataka
Makara Sankramanam: Andhra Pradesh
To celebrate this festival in a grand manner, Sports365 launches its special Sankranti offer with additional 10% off on the entire store of products. This offer is valid on 14th and 15th January 2014 at www.sports365.in by using the voucher code S36510.