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When Is Makar Sankranti 2024?
Makar Sankranti 2024 : Mon, Jan 15, 2024
Makar Sankranti, also known as the harvest festival, is a significant occasion in Hindu culture. Celebrated annually on the 15th of January, this festival marks the end of winter solstice and the beginning of longer days. The day holds great cultural and spiritual importance among Hindus and is celebrated with fervor across the country.
The word ‘Makar' refers to Capricorn, while ‘Sankranti' means transition. Therefore, Makar Sankranti signifies the transition of the sun into Capricorn zodiac sign. This auspicious day is believed to be one of the most propitious occasions for Hindus and holds deep religious significance. It is celebrated in various forms across different parts of India with various customs and rituals that are unique to each region. In this article, we will focus on when Makar Sankranti will fall in 2024 and how it is celebrated across India.
The Significance of Makar Sankranti in Hindu Culture
The significance of Makar Sankranti in Hindu culture lies in its celebration of the transition from winter to spring, marking the beginning of a new harvest season and celebrating the sun's movement into Capricorn. This festival is observed on January 15th every year and is considered one of the most important festivals in India. The word "Makar"means Capricorn, and "Sankranti"means transition.
The importance of Makar Sankranti can be traced back to ancient times when people believed that it was an auspicious time for starting new ventures. It is also believed to mark the end of unfavorable planetary positions and bring good fortune. People celebrate this festival by taking holy dips in rivers, offering prayers to Lord Surya (the Sun God), and preparing traditional dishes made with sesame seeds and jaggery.
Rituals associated with Makar Sankranti vary across different regions of India but are characterized by their spiritual significance. In Maharashtra, kite flying is a popular tradition during this festival, while in South India, people take oil baths before sunrise as a cleansing ritual. In Punjab, Lohri is celebrated around the same time as Makar Sankranti and involves lighting bonfires to signify the victory of light over darkness. Overall, Makar Sankranti represents a cultural amalgamation of various traditions that highlight the importance of renewal, prosperity, and hope for a better future
The Date for Makar Sankranti 2024
In 2024, Makar Sankranti will be celebrated on January 15th. This festival is an important event in the Hindu calendar, marking the end of the winter solstice and the beginning of longer days. The significance of Makar Sankranti lies not only in its celebration traditions but also in its astrological importance.
Celebration traditions for Makar Sankranti vary across India, but some common practices include flying kites, taking holy dips in rivers, preparing special sweets made from sesame seeds and jaggery, and offering prayers to Lord Sun. The festival is also known as Uttarayan or Maghi because it marks the transition towards warmer weather and harvest time. It brings people together to celebrate their cultural heritage and strengthens community bonds.
Astrologically speaking, Makar Sankranti holds great significance as it marks the sun's shift into Capricorn (Makara) constellation from Sagittarius (Dhanu). This movement is believed to bring good fortune and prosperity as it signifies a new beginning that follows the dark winter months. Hindus believe that bathing in holy rivers during this time cleanses one's sins and brings blessings from deities. Overall, Makar Sankranti is a festival that celebrates hope, positivity, and new beginnings while reminding us of our spiritual roots.
How Makar Sankranti is Celebrated in Different Parts of India
Celebrations of the transition towards warmer weather and harvest time through kite flying, special sweets, holy dips in rivers, and prayers to Lord Sun vary across different regions of India. Festive traditions associated with Makar Sankranti are diverse and unique to each region. In some parts of the country, it is celebrated as Pongal or Lohri.
In Maharashtra, children fly kites from rooftops while families prepare traditional dishes like tilgul laddoos made from sesame seeds and jaggery. In Gujarat, people gather on rooftops to fly colorful kites and savor a variety of delicacies including undhiyu (a mixed vegetable dish) and chikki (a sweet made from peanuts). Meanwhile, in South India, the day is celebrated as Pongal where rice is cooked with milk and jaggery in earthen pots until it spills over - an auspicious sign indicating prosperity.
Regional variations also extend to the significance of the day. For instance, in North India, Makar Sankranti marks the end of winter solstice whereas in South India it marks the start of Uttarayan - a six-month period when sun moves northwards. While festivities may differ across various regions of India during Makar Sankranti celebrations always evoke a feeling of joyousness among people celebrating unity amidst diversity.