Wednesday 11 January 2023

Sankranti Festival Overview

  • Introduction to Makar Sankranti
  • Origins of Makar Sankranti 
  • How Makar Sankranti is celebrated in different regions
  • Makar Sankranti dress code 
  • Special foods and sweets for Makar Sankranti Spiritual significance and benefits of Makar Sankranti 
  •  Makar Sankranti and its relation to farmers Village games during Makar Sankranti.

Makar Sankranti is a Hindu festival that is celebrated in many parts of India and Nepal to mark the transition of the sun into the zodiac sign of Makara (Capricorn). The festival typically falls in the month of January and marks the start of the longer days.

The origins of Makar Sankranti can be traced back to ancient times, with the festival being mentioned in ancient Hindu texts such as the Mahabharata and the Puranas. It is believed to have been a harvest festival, celebrated to mark the end of the winter solstice and the start of the new agricultural season.

The festival is celebrated in various ways across different regions of India. In Gujarat and Maharashtra, for example, it is a major festival and is celebrated with much fanfare, with people taking dips in rivers and lakes and flying kites to mark the occasion. In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, it is celebrated as Pongal and in Tamil Nadu, it is celebrated as Thai Pongal, the festival has different name and rituals.

In terms of dress code, people typically wear traditional clothes such as sarees and dhoti-kurta. In some places, people also dress up in bright and colorful clothes to mark the occasion.

Special foods are also prepared to mark Makar Sankranti. In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, a dish called Pongal is prepared with rice, lentils, and jaggery. In Gujarat, til-gud laddoo, a sweet made of til (sesame seeds) and gud (jaggery), is a popular dish prepared for the festival. In Maharashtra, sesame laddoos are popular.

Makar Sankranti is also known for its delicious sweets. The most popular sweet dish is Til-Gud Ladoo, made from sesame seeds and jaggery which is prepared in most of the states.

In terms of benefits, Makar Sankranti is believed to have spiritual significance and is said to bring good luck and prosperity. People also believe that taking a dip in rivers and lakes on Makar Sankranti will wash away their sins and purify their souls.

Makar Sankranti is also seen as having a special relationship with farmers, as it marks the end of the cold winter months and the start of the new agricultural season. It is considered as a start of new harvest season. Many farmers offer the first harvest of the season to the gods and goddesses on this day.

In recent years, some village game tournaments also played on this festival in different states for entertainment, like kite flying, bull racing, and tug of war are played by the local people.

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