Makar Sankranti is a Hindu festival that is celebrated every year in the month of January. It marks the beginning of the sun’s northward journey (uttarayan) from the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn. This festival is considered to be very auspicious and is celebrated with great fervour and enthusiasm in various parts of India. Makar Sankranti is also known by different names in different parts of the country, such as Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Uttarayan in Gujarat, and Maghi in Punjab.
Meaning of word ‘Makar Sankranti’
The word “Makar” refers to the zodiac sign of Capricorn, while “Sankranti” means the movement or transition of the sun from one zodiac sign to another. Makar Sankranti marks the end of the cold and dark winter season and the beginning of the warm and bright spring season.
Why do we celebrate ‘Makar Sankranti’?
This festival is celebrated in honour of Surya (the Sun God) to pay tribute for the grace of his energy that has enabled life and food on earth. Surya is the soul, its energy is what drives a person towards their dreams. It also is a planet whose blessings provide good health, name, fame and success in the career of an individual.
In 2023, this auspicious festival will be celebrated on the 15th of January. It is believed that Makar Sankranti brings good fortune and prosperity to everyone.
Legendary Significance of Makar Sankranti
There are various legends associated with Makar Sankranti. One popular legend is that Makar Sankranti marks the day when the great sage, Bhrigu, visited his son-in-law, the sun god, Surya. According to this legend, Bhrigu was not happy with the way Surya treated his daughter, so he cursed him to suffering from a severe skin disease. Surya begged for forgiveness and promised to treat his daughter well. Bhrigu then lifted the curse and Surya’s skin was restored to its former glory.
Another legend associated with Makar Sankranti is the story of King Bhageeratha, who performed severe penances to bring the River Ganges down to Earth. It is said that on this day, the River Ganges finally descended to Earth and the king was able to bring the sacred water to his ancestors, who had been waiting for it in the land of the dead. In many parts of India, Makar Sankranti is also celebrated as the victory of good over evil. It is believed that on this day, the demon king Hiranyakashipu was killed by Lord Vishnu, and thus, good triumphed over evil.
What to do on Makar Sankranti?
There are various rituals and traditions associated with Makar Sankranti. One of the most important traditions is the offering of prayers to the sun god, Surya. People wake up early in the morning and offer their prayers to the sun god, seeking his blessings for a happy and prosperous life.
Another popular tradition is the exchange of til (sesame seeds) and gud (jaggery). Til is considered to be a symbol of prosperity and well-being, while gud is a symbol of sweetness and happiness. People exchange these items with their friends and family as a symbol of their love and affection.
Why are People flying kites on Makar Sankranti?
This auspicious festival is also known as the festival of kites, In some parts of India, people also celebrate Makar Sankranti by flying kites. Kite flying is seen as a way of celebrating the victory of good over evil, as the kite represents good and the string represents evil.
Best Rudrakshas for Makar Sankranti
These are the Rudraksha which are blessed by Lord Surya and are extremely auspicious to wear during Makar Sankranti.
1 Mukhi Rudraksha
1 Mukhi Rudraksha blessed by Lord Surya for name, fame, growth, success and meditation. Beneficial for regulating blood pressure and heart-related ailments.
12 Mukhi Rudraksha
Twelve Mukhi Small Rudraksha blessed by Lord Surya for name, fame, growth and success. Good Administration skills and leadership qualities. Extremely good for heart-related problems.
19 Mukhi Rudraksha
Nineteen Mukhi Rudraksha blessed by Lord Surya for good luck, fulfilling materialistic desires and for success and growth. Excellent for people who indulge in diversified activities, managing large business, establishments or law firms.
Remedies to please Lord Surya
There are certain effective remedies to please Lord Surya along with these powerful Rudraksha which are :
- Offering Jal to Surya in the mornings.
- Chanting Aditya Hridaya Strota.
- Wearing the colour red.
- Donating red coloured fruits and pulses such as apples, Masoor Dal.
- Fasting and meditating on Sundays.
- Reciting Sun Beej Mantra : Aum Hraam Hreem Hraum Sah Suryaya Namah