Makar Sankranti – What’s in the NAME?


Sam(n)kranti here means ‘transfer’, this day is considered as the transition day of Sun into the Makar Rashi (Capricorn). Makar Sankranti marks the primary day of the sun's travel into Makara Rashi(Capricorn zodiac sign), denoting the finish of winter and the start of hotter and longer days.


On Makar Sankranti, the Sun god is worshipped along with Lord Vishnu and goddess Lakshmi throughout India. Makara Sankranti is the main Indian celebration that is praised by sun powered cycles, while most celebrations follow the lunar pattern of the Hindu schedule. Consequently, it quite often falls on a similar Gregorian date consistently (fourteenth January), and seldom does the date shift by a day or thereabouts.


For most parts of India, this period is a part of the early stages of the Rabi crop and agricultural cycle, where crops have been sown and the hard work in the fields is mostly over. The time thus signifies a period of socializing and families enjoying each other's company, taking care of the cattle, and celebrating around bonfires.

Every twelve years, the Hindus observe Makar Sankranti with Kumbha Mela – one of the world's largest mass pilgrimage, with an estimated 40 to 100 million people attending the event. At this event, they say a prayer to the sun and bathe at the Prayaga confluence of the River Ganga and River Yamuna, a tradition attributed to Adi Shankaracharya.


Sankranti is commended in practically all pieces of India with unmistakable names.

The festivities associated with Makar Sankranti are known by various names Magh Bihu in Assam, Lohari in Punjab, Maghi Saaji in Himachal Pradesh, Maghi Sangrand or Uttarain (Uttarayana) in Jammu, Sakraat in Haryana, Sukarat in central India, Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Uttarayan in Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh, Ghughuti in Uttarakhand, Poush sôngkrānti (Bengal), Suggi Habba (Karnataka), Makara Chaula (Odisha), Makara Sankranti in Maharashtra, Goa, Khichdi Sankranti in UP & Bihar or as Sankranthi in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, and Shishur Saenkraath (Kashmir).

Could it be said that there is some other Indian celebration that has such an assortment in the name? It is celebrated not just in India, but even in the countries having ancient Indian influence i.e. Maghe Sankranti (Nepal), Songkran (Thailand), Thingyan (Myanmar), Mohan Songkran (Cambodia),


Rituals of Makar Sankranti:

Makar Sankranti is observed with special social festivities with local flavour. However, shared cultural practices found amongst Hindus of various parts of India like Praying to the Sun God, Taking a dip in holy rivers, making sweets from Jaggery & Til, colourful decorations, children going house to house, singing and asking for treats in some areas, melas (fairs), dances, kite flying, bonfires and feasts.

In most regions of India, Sankranti festivities last for two to four days of which each day is celebrated with distinct names and rituals with every day having a bunch of ceremonies related to it.

Kite flying - The sky is loaded up with brilliant kites during the day and sky lamps around evening time.

● People sing folk songs and move around huge bonfires, which is classified as "Bhogi" in Andhra Pradesh, "Lohri" in Punjab and "Meji" in Assam.

● Gathering of yields like new paddy and sugar stick & other crop

● Individuals take a dip in heavenly waterways, particularly the Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Krishna, and Kaveri. This is accepted to wash off past sins.

● The contribution of petitions for progress and success to the Sun god, who is viewed as the image of godlikeness and shrewdness.

● A portion of the world's biggest journeys like "Kumbha Mela", "Gangasagar Mela" and "Makara Mela" are held.

● Trade of food made with jaggery and til (sesame seeds) that keep the body warm and gives oil, which is required as winter evaporates the dampness from the body.


Celebration Across India


Maharashtra

People observe Makara Sankranti in Maharashtra by trading til-gud as a badge of altruism. Individuals welcome one another "तिळगुळ घ्या, आणि गोड-गोड बोला (until gud ghyaa, aani prod urge bola)" signifying, 'Acknowledge these desserts and utter sweet words.' The basic idea is to pardon and never revisit the previous sick sentiments, resolve the contentions, talk pleasantly and remain companions. Ladies meet up and play out an exceptional 'Haldi-Kumkum' service, which goes on for a few days post-Sakranti.

2. Gujarat

Makar Sankranti is known as "Uttarayan" in Gujarat and is commended for two days. The main day is Uttarayan, and the following day is Vasi-Uttarayan (Stale Uttarayan). The Gujarati public praise it with -

"Patang" - kites, "Undhiyu" - a zesty curry made with winter vegetables, and "Chikkis" - desserts made with til (sesame), peanuts and jaggery. They are a unique celebration formula relished on this day. The sky is loaded up with kites as individuals appreciate two entire long periods of Uttarayan on their patios. You can hear clearly voices shouting "kaypo chhe", "e lapet", "phirki vet phirki" and "lapet", when the kite is cut. A lot of Indian cinemas have portrayed this festival in terms of songs & other rituals.


3. Andhra Pradesh

Bhogi is commended in Andhra Pradesh for three days. On day 1 - Bhogi Panduga, individuals discard old things into the Bhogi (huge fire). On day 2 - Pedda Panduga, signifying the 'Enormous Festival,' is praised with supplications, new garments, and by welcoming visitors for feasts. The entry of the house is enhanced with "muggu" plans, for example, rangoli designs, loaded up with tones, blossoms, and "gobbemma" (little, hand-squeezed heaps of cow fertilizer).

Day 3 - Kanuma, is exceptionally extraordinary for ranchers. They love and feature their steers that represent flourishing. Cockfighting was additionally held before, however, presently it is prohibited.

Day 4 – On Mukkanuma, ranchers offer petitions to the components like soil, downpour, and fire for aiding the reap. Individuals eat meat treats on the last day.


4. Punjab

Lohari in Punjab takes on energy, dance, and shadings. Lohri is praised the prior night Sankranti or Maghi. Individuals affectionately sing the well-known society melody "Divide mundriye, ho!" and perform "Giddha", a people dance by ladies and "Bhaṅgṛā" by men. They dress in brilliant shadings and dance in a circle around the huge fire.

On Maghi, gatherings of youngsters move from one way to another, singing the society melody: "Dulla Bhatti ho! Dulle ne dhi viyahi ho! Ser shakar pai ho!" (Dulla wedded his little girl off and gave a kilo of sugar as a marriage gift). Savouries like gur rewri, popcorns, and peanuts are traded. Ranchers start their monetary new year on the day after Maghi.


5. Karnataka

Makara Sankranti is commended in Karnataka with a custom called "Ellu Birodhu" where ladies trade "Ellu Bella" (local delights made utilizing newly cut sugarcane, sesame seeds, jaggery, and coconut) with somewhere