(Last Updated on : 03/02/2012)
In India, one of the most auspicious occasions is Makar Sankranti. The propitious occasion of Makar Sankranti is celebrated in every part throughout the country. This festival is celebrated by the people in innumerable cultural forms and with immense commitment, enthusiasm and fervour. Makar Sankranti is basically considered as a harvest festival in the country. Makar Sankranti actually marks the beginning of a harvest season. It is celebrated on 14th of January every year.
Apart from commemorating the beginning of harvest season, Makar Sankranti also marks the auspicious beginning of an auspicious phase of the Indian culture and traditions. As per the Hindu Solar calendar, when the earth moves from one zodiac sign to another, it is called as the Makar Sankranti in the Indian context. It is celebrated when the Sun moves into the `makar` zodiac sign that is the Capricorn
zodiac sign. This festival is celebrated on a fixed date that is on 14th of January unlike other festivals where there is no fixed date. Interestingly, Makar Sankranti is also regarded as `holy phase of transition`. Further, scientifically, 14th January that is Makar Sankranti actually marks the beginning of comparatively longer and warmer days. In simple words it can be said that this festival signifies the beginning of the spring season or the new harvest season.
Makar Sankranti is celebrated with high fanfare and zeal all across the country. However, the rituals of celebrations are different from one region to the other. This festival also holds religious as well as historical importance apart from socio-geographical importance. Like for instance, in Mahabharata
, the importance of Makar Sankranti could be found. It is basically the festival of Sun God.
Sankranti means the transition of Sun from one zodiac sign in Indian astrology to another one. Thus, there are 12 Sankrantis in total. But, interestingly, the Sankranti festival basically refers to Makar Sankranti that is the transition of the Sun from Sagittarius
zodiac to Capricorn zodiac sign. Makar Sankranti is a solar event however, the traditional calendar is entirely based on lunar positions. It is celebrated on the magha
month according to the traditional Hindu calendar.
One of the integral parts of Makar Sankranti is kite flying. Thus it can be concluded by saying that Makar Sankranti or Sankranti basically marks the conversion of the Sun into the Makar Rashi or Capricorn zodiac sign on its heavenly celestial path.