14 Jan 2020

Makar Sankranti (ମକର ସଂକ୍ରାନ୍ତି)


Makara Sankranti (Odia: ମକର ସଂକ୍ରାନ୍ତି) is a Hindu festival dedicated to the deity Surya or Sun. On this day, Sun goes towards the Southern hemisphere. This festival is more dedicated to farmers. This festival is also known as Maghi.

It is observed each year in the lunar month of Magha which corresponds with the month of January as per the Gregorian calendar and is a day the people of India celebrate their harvest. It marks the first day of the sun's transit into Makara (Capricorn), marking the end of the month with the winter solstice and the start of longer days.

The festivities associated with Makar Sankranti are known by various names, such as Magh Bihu in Assam, Maghi (preceded by Lohri) in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, popular amongst both the Hindus and Sikhs, Sukarat in central India, Thai Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Ghughuti in Uttarakhand or simply as 'Makara Sankranti' in Odisha, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh (also called Pedda Pandaga), Telangana, West Bengal (also called Poush Sankranti) and Uttar Pradesh (also called Kichddi Sankranti).

Makara Sankranti is observed with social festivities such as colorful decorations, rural children going house to house, singing and asking for treats in some areas, melas (fairs), dances, kite flying, bonfires, and feasts. The Magha Mela, according to Diana L. Eck (professor at Harvard University specializing in Indology), is mentioned in the Hindu epic Mahabharat. Many observers go to sacred rivers or lakes and bathe in a ceremony of thanks to the sun. Every twelve years (marking one complete revolution of Jupiter around the Sun) the Hindus observe Makar Sankranti with one of the world's largest mass pilgrimages, with an estimated 40 to 100 million people attending the event. At this event, then they say a prayer to the sun and bathe at the Prayaga confluence of the River Ganga and River Yamuna at the Kumbha Mela, a tradition attributed to Adi Shankaracharya.


Since Makara Sankranti is the festival of cultivation, we Odias worship our Lord by offering them the newly harvested Paddy from our farms. We couldn't offer the normal rice grains like that, so we prepare this delicious mix prasad for Lord by adding some fruits, milk, coconut, banana, etc to it.

Source: Wikipedia

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