Makar Sankranti 2023: Makar Sankranti is an important Hindu festival celebrated all over India. Makar Sankranti has a rich cultural and religious significance, signifying harvest season and an auspicious occasion for new beginnings. It marks the transition of the Sun from Sagittarius to Capricorn and is celebrated around mid-January every year. People celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm by flying kites, celebrating with sweets, praying to the Sun God, and performing various rituals. Read on to learn more about Makar Sankranti’s history and what it means.
|Festival Name||Makar Sankranti|
|Makar Sankranti Date in 2023||January 14, 2023|
About Makar Sankranti
In India, the warmer winds of spring start to blow around the middle of January. During this time, Makar Sankranti, India’s most important harvest festival, is held to mark the end of winter and the start of longer days caused by the Sun moving northward. This happy holiday is also called “Sankranti.” It is a time of year when Lord Surya, the Sun God, is honoured. It recognizes that the Sun has moved into Makara Rashi, which is the Capricorn sign. The festival will be held on January 14, 2023.
Different Names of Makar Sankranti
Makar Sankranti is an important Hindu festival celebrated in many countries across the world. This joyous occasion marks the first day of the Sun’s transition into Capricorn and signifies the end of the winter solstice. The festival has many different local names, depending on the country or region it is celebrated in.
|Indian State/Country||Local Name|
|West Bengal & North East||Pousha Sankranti|
|Tamil Nadu||Thai Pongal|
|Assam and North East||Magh Bihu|
When is Makar Sankranti 2023?
Makar Sankranti is one of the few old Indian holidays based on the Sun’s cycles. Most Hindu holidays are based on the moon, though. This festival is almost always on January 14, but sometimes it is a day later or earlier.
Why Makar Sankranti is Celebrated?
In the Vedas, Sankranti explains how the Sun moves from one zodiac sign (called a “rashi”) to the next. So, in a year, there are 12 Sankranti. Makar Sankranti, also called “Poush Sankranti,” is thought to be the best of these. It is one of the few Hindu holidays timed with the Sun’s cycle. Makar Sankranti is important for more than just its religious meaning. The festival also marks the start of the harvest season, when new crops are worshipped and shared with joy.
This event is both a religious holiday and a seasonal celebration. It marks the end of winter because the Sun starts moving from the Dakshinayana (South) hemisphere to the Uttarayana (North) hemisphere on this day. It also marks the Sun’s move into Makar Raashi (the Capricorn zodiac sign).
Makar Sankranti History
Sankranti is deemed a Deity. According to a story, Sankranti killed a demon named Sankarasur. Karidin or Kinkrant is the name of the day after Makar Sankrant. Kinkarasur was killed on this day by Devi. In Panchang, you can find out about Makar Sankranti. The Panchang is the Hindu Almanac. It tells you how old Sankranti is, what it looks like, how it should be dressed, where it is going, and how it moves.
The DrikPanchaang says, “Good work can be done between Makar Sankranti and 40 Ghatis, which is about 16 hours in India if 1 Ghati is 24 minutes. Punya Kaal is the name for this time span of forty Ghatis. During Punya Kaal, you should do things for Sankranti like take a bath, give Lord Surya Naivedhya (food given to deities), give charity (Dakshina), do Shraddha rituals, and break your fast (Parana). If Makar Sankranti happens after sunset, all Punya Kaal activities are put off until the next sunrise. So, everything to do with Punya Kaal should be done during the day.”
Significance of Makar Sankranti
The scriptures say that Dakshinayan represents the night of God or a sign of bad luck, while Uttarayan represents the day of God or a sign of good luck. Since the Sun starts its journey to the north on this day, people go to holy places and take a holy dip in the Ganga, Godavari, Krishna, or Yamuna Rivers, chant mantras, etc. Most of the time, the Sun affects all of the zodiac signs. However, it is said that it is very good when the Sun enters the zodiac signs of Cancer and Capricorn.
The Sun is in the Southern Hemisphere before Makar Sankranti. Because of this, in India, the days are shorter, and the nights are longer in the winter. But on Makar Sankranti, the Sun starts to move toward the Northern Hemisphere. This means that the days will get longer and the nights will get shorter.
On Makar Sankranti, people worship the Sun God in different ways to show their thanks to the people of India for all they do throughout the year. Doing good things or giving money during this time makes them more fruitful.
Putting on the Haldi Kumkum ceremony in a way that wakes up the waves of sleeping Adi-Shakti in the Universe. This makes people think of Sagun devotion and strengthens their spiritual feelings toward God.
How is the day of Sankranti is celebrated?
Makar Sankranti is a happy and lucky holiday celebrated all over the country with a lot of pomp and joy. People think of it as a day that will bring them wealth, peace, and happiness. Religious people bathe in the Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Krishna, and Kaveri rivers. They think that if they do this, their sins will be forgiven. Worshipers also do several spiritual acts to show gratitude and honor to the Sun God. People share sweets like laddoos and chikkis made with sesame and jaggery. This activity shows that people want to live together in peace and harmony.
In Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Modi, the festival is called Uttarayan and is one of the most-anticipated days of the year. It is a holiday that lasts for two days. On the first day, people fly kites. People start the event by yelling “Kai Po Che” and “E Lapet” as a wide range of kites fills the vast blue sky. Communities all over the state hold kite-flying competitions, where each person fights with their kite against everyone else. In Gujarati homes, people cook undhiyu and chikkis, delicious snacks made of winter vegetables, sesame seeds, peanuts, and jaggery.
Due to its association with the harvest of winter crops, Makar Sankranti, known as Lohri in Punjab, is a significant event for farmers in this region. On the night of Lohri, diverse groups throughout the state light bonfires to honor God and execute rituals. Locals often perform the bhangra while consuming the traditional dessert kheer (rice cooked in milk). Additionally, the celebration signifies the beginning of the end of winter months.
Bihar and Jharkhand
Locals of Bihar and Jharkhand begin the day of festivities by bathing in the sacred Ganges. Local homes make various dishes for a holiday, with chuda-dahi (beaten rice and yogurt) and gur (jaggery) being the traditional breakfast. Ticket is a uniquely prepared delicacy for Makar Sankranti, known as sakraat in Bihar and Jharkhand, consisting of an exquisite mixture of jaggery and sesame seeds. To prepare for the substantial customary dinner, lunch should be addressed. Khichdi is typically accompanied by ‘chaar yaar’ (four companions) – chokha (roasted potatoes), ghee, papad, and achaar (pickle).
In Assam, Makar Sankranti celebrations might continue for up to a week. In these regions, the event is known as Magh Bihu and signifies the end of the harvest season. On the actual day of the celebration, tekeli-bhonga (pot-breaking) and buffalo fighting occur. Rice cakes and laru, a coconut-based dessert, are popular treats. Meji, or improvised huts, are frequently created from scratch by young people to hold a feast, after which they are destroyed the next day.
Pongal, the native name for Makar Sankranti, is celebrated grandly throughout South India. This four-day celebration is one of the largest events in Tamil Nadu. On day one, old home items are replaced with new ones, while on day two, the most important day, the festival feast, is prepared. Locals also blow conch shells to announce the beginning of harvest season. Some communities also host Jallikattu, a festival celebrating the taming of bulls, on the third day of the festival.
Famous Temples to Celebrate Makar Sankranti
- Sri Sigandur Chowdeshwari Temple
- Chhinnamasta Temple, Rajrappa, Jharkhand
- Basukinath Temple, Deoghar, Jharkhand
- Tarapith Temple, West Bengal
Quick FAQ – Makar Sankranti
Why Makar Sankranti is celebrated in India?
Makar Sankranti is an important Hindu festival celebrated throughout India. It marks the sun’s transition into the zodiac sign of Makar (Capricorn) on its celestial path and celebrates the end of the winter season. It is also a harvest festival, where people thank God for good harvests and pray for prosperity in the coming year.
How Makar Sankranti is celebrated?
Makar Sankranti is celebrated differently in different states of India. In Gujarat, it is celebrated with kite flying and feasts. In Maharashtra, people exchange sweets and perform ceremonial baths in holy rivers. In Karnataka, bonfires are lit to mark the festival, and special dishes are prepared. In Punjab, people exchange sesame sweets and fly kites. In Tamil Nadu, Pongal is prepared as an offering to the Sun God and cattle are decorated with flowers.
Are Makar Sankranti and Lohri the same?
The same festival is observed throughout India, but several names know it. Lohri in the north, Pongal in the south, and Makar Sankranti in the west; in Gujarat, it’s known as Uttarayan. It is the same celebration in its entirety.