Makar Sankranti festival is also known as Makar Surya Sankranti, Uttarayan, Magh Bihu, Poush Parbon, Makaravilakku or Pongal. People celebrate it on January 14 or 15 to mark Makar Surya Sankranti.
Makar Sankrant is an event of Surya Sankranti in Makar Rashi or the transition of the Sun into the Heaven divided into 12 signs, of 30° each sign Capricorn (Makar).
Hindus observe it as the festival of God Sun, by worshiping and offering Arghya to Lord Surya.
Festival Makar Sankranti falls on Saturday, 14th/15th January 2023.
Makar Sankranti/ Makar Sankrant or Uttarayan
Hindus celebrate Surya Sankranti in Makar Rashi, or the sun’s Movement of planets in the sky in real time in the sign Makar (Capricorn). It is also known as Makar Surya Sankranti.
Most of the Hindu festivals are based on the Lunar calendar or the moon’s position, but the Makar Sankranti festival is based on the Solar calendar or the Sayana calendar.
The period of six months when due to the Movement of planets in the sky in real time, the Sun’s position is in six signs of the Heaven divided into 12 signs, of 30° each from Capricorn to Gemini is known as Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan.
During this period, the Sun transits from the southernmost point (Dakshinayan) to the northernmost point (Uttarayan).
The word Uttara means north, Ayan means movement, and Uttarayan means the Movement of planets in the sky in real time of the Sun towards the north.
Scientific Significance and Astrological Significance of Makar Sankranti
When Sun transits into Makar Rashi( Capricorn sign) and contacts Earth at the latitude of 23.5S, it is called the line of Capricorn or Makar Rekha, and because of the Sun’s Movement of planets in the sky in real time in Makar Rashi, this event is known as Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan (northward movement of the Sun). After six months Sun transits into Karka Rashi(Cancer sign), which is a line of Cancer or Karka Rekha.
Actually, the Sun comes overhead on December 21, it is also known as the winter solstice. The Sun starts contacting the earth at 23.5S, northwards after this date. This causes an increase in the daytime and the nights become shorter in the northern hemisphere.
Indians who are living in the northern hemisphere see more sunlight after Winter Solstice. The sunlight is the source of life, and so this Movement of planets in the sky in real time in Makar Rashi is most significant in India and Nepal, which is also India’s neighboring country.
Sun shines for six months in the north after the Summer Solstice and for the next six months, the Sun shines in the South after Winter Solstice. That is why both the north pole regions and the south pole regions have six months of Polar days and six months of Polar nights. The equator region is the most populated region as it gets more sunlight.
Makar Sankranti 2023, date and its significance
Makar Sankranti marks the end of the winter season and the beginning of the joyous spring season. It is mainly the beginning of the harvest season, this festival signifies the welcome of new crops.
During the Uttarayan Surya (Sun) the days are longer and brighter. The inauspicious month (Kharmas) ends on the day of Makar Sankranti on 14th January 2023.
The days after Makar Sankranti are good for starting all the auspicious events with the end of the inauspicious month of Kharmaaas.
The significance of enjoying the recipes of Til-Gur and Urad Dal Khichadi (A mixture of black gram and rice) during this harvest festival is to celebrate the new crops. Khichado, a mixture of Tuar Dal, rice, green coconut, Gur, and dry fruits, is a unique, delicious Gujrati preparation. People eat Undhiyu and Jalebi in meals.
The importance of exchanging or distributing sweets made of jaggery and sesame (Gur- Til Laddoo or Chikki) among the people.
This is to forget the past differences and ill feelings and remain friends in the future.
Sesame keeps the body warm, and healthy and it provides good oil for nutrition during the winter season.
People buy kites, sunglasses, and hats of different designs and wear black dresses.
Some people like to buy These are twelve sections of zodiac circle having 360° numbered clockwise Ascendant is known as the first house and the last house is known as the twelfth house Each house represents specific traits used for prediction. because they get discounts during this period. One should be careful in purchasing These are twelve sections of zodiac circle having 360° numbered clockwise Ascendant is known as the first house and the last house is known as the twelfth house Each house represents specific traits used for prediction., and see if they are available according to their requirements.
Generally, the festival Makar Sankranti has different names across India and falls on the 14th of January, every year. The date is 15th January 2023 (Surya Makar Sankranti), this year.
In South India, the name of this festival is Makar Sankranthi or Pongal (South India).
Uttarayani, Ghughuti, or Ghughutia in Kumaon and other parts of Uttarakhand
In the Kumaon region, the name of this festival is Ghughuti or Ghughutia, in the local language. Ghughuti Tyar Mela (Uttarayani) will be from January 8 to January 14, 2023.
The main attraction of this significant festival is a black bird known as Ghughuti (Kale Kauwa). A garland of the sweet made with a mixture of jaggery and flour(Atta) named Ghughuti (Gulgule) in the local language and children.
Children come out of their These are twelve sections of zodiac circle having 360° numbered clockwise Ascendant is known as the first house and the last house is known as the twelfth house Each house represents specific traits used for prediction. wearing garlands of these sweet puris (Pua) shouting a song for Kale Kauwa requesting to take this garland and eat it.
Celebration of Makar Sankranti in Himachal Pradesh as Uttarayani or Magha Saji
In Himachal Pradesh, it is known as Uttarayani or Magha Saji, people take a holy dip in the river and enjoy eating Khichadi with ghee and Chhanch and Til-Gur Laddoo.
Makar Sankranti celebration in different states: Khichadi, Sankrant, or Lohri
This significant festival is observed as a major harvest festival all over India and abroad during the month of January, generally on 14 January every year, in different forms.
Makar Sankranti as Lohri
People in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and other parts of North India, celebrate it as Lohri (13th January) a day before Sankranti. Unlike other festivals, the date of the Lohri festival is fixed, which is celebrated every year on the 13th of January.
People in Panjab sing and dance (Bhangra) and enjoy Kheer, Sarson ka Sag with Makki ki Roti and Til- Gur Sweets. This festival is also known as Sankrant.
On the next day, people celebrate it as Makar Sankranti or Khichadi in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Jharkhand.
Khichadi in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh
In Bihar and Uttar Pradesh (North India), people observe this festival as Khichadi means mixture. People eat Khichadi, a preparation made of a mixture, of black gram (Urad) and rice. The date for the Khichadi festival is 14th January 2023 (Surya Makar Sankranti).
Magh Mela at Prayagraj
Magh Mela is held on this day at holy Prayag in Allahabad, annually. On this day, Tawa (flat frying pan) is not used for preparing Roti or chapati.
People eat Dahi-Chura (curds and Pohe), Til- Gur Laddu, Dal- Bati, Kheer-Puri in the evening, Chhachh and Khichadi-ghee at noon in Bihar, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
People in Panjab sing and dance (Bhangra) and enjoy Kheer, Sarson ka Sag with Makki ki Roti and Til- Gur Sweets. This festival is also known as Sankrant.
Makar Sankranti, a celebration in South India as Pongal on January 15, 2023:
Tamil Nadu celebrates it as a four-day festival, as the most popular festival Pongal. This is from 15th January to 18th January, this year.
The name of the second day of the festival is Thai Pongal or simply Pongal. It is the main day of the festival, falling on the first day of the Tamil month called Thai.
Makar Sankranti as Sankranthi in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka:
Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka people celebrate it as Sankranthi.
In Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana its celebration continues for four days. At dawn, people light a bonfire with logs of wood, other solid fuels, and wooden furniture that are no longer useful.
People celebrate it by preparing, distributing, and exchanging sweets of different kinds.
What tradition gives it the name Pongal?
People celebrate Pongal and cook Payasam by boiling rice with fresh milk and jaggery in a new pot or pots.
Later they decorate Payasam with brown sugar, ground coconut, almonds, cashew nuts, and raisins early in the morning and boil the mixture in the pot.
This tradition gives its the ‘Pongal’ name itself. As the rice boils over and bubbles out of the pot, people start shouting Ponggalo Ponggal and blowing the conch.
It is a custom to announce traditionally that this would be a good year with blessings from God.
Then they offer this delicious Payasam or Kheer (new boiled sweet rice) to the God Sun during the sunrise, as praying and thanking the sun for providing prosperity.
This Payasam is served to all the people in the house as Prasadam.
People prepare delicious food and sweets such as Payasam, Vadai, Murukku, and Rasam, and exchange sweets and greetings with their friends and relatives.
The harvest festival Jalli Kattu (Cattle worshipping) happens on the last two days of Pongal.
Makar Sankranti or Makaravilakku in Kerala:
In Kerala, Makar Sankranthi people celebrate it at the holy Sabarimala, the Makara Jyothi is visible followed by the traditional Makaravilakku celebrations.
Jammu Kashmir celebrates Makar Sankranti as Shishur Sankraat:
People in Jammu and Kashmir celebrate this festival as Shishur Sankraat. On this festival, people visit the temples for worship.
Different varieties of food and delicious sweets, in generous quantities, are prepared, served, and distributed.
Makar Sankranti in Maharashtra and Goa
In Maharashtra and Goa, people observe it as Makar Sankranti. Married women celebrate it traditionally with Haldi- kumkum by exchanging and offering sweets to each other.
People enjoy delicious food and multi-colored Laddu (sweets made with Jaggery and Sesame).
They dress up in new clothes and ornaments, perform Puja in temples, and visit their friends and relatives to distribute and exchange sweets and gifts with them.
Makar Sankranti celebration as Uttarayan in Gujarat and western India:
Makar Sankranti is a major festival, the other name of this festival is Uttarayan in Gujarat. It is also an International Kite Festival in Gujarat, people celebrate it by kite flying and it lasts for two days.
People celebrate the festival Makar Sankranti, in Gujarat and other parts of western India as the festival Uttarayan.
People observe the period between the Makar Sankranti and Kark Sankranti as Uttarayan or Uttarayan Surya. This is to mark the movement of the sun towards the north (Uttarayan), starting from the day of Makar Sankranti.
This day is also famous for kite-flying events in Gujarat and different parts of India.
Uttarayan is one of the most significant festivals in Gujarat. Colorful kites are sold in the shops.
People fly kites on rooftops and enjoy when they cut any kites, assemble them on the roofs and terraces of their These are twelve sections of zodiac circle having 360° numbered clockwise Ascendant is known as the first house and the last house is known as the twelfth house Each house represents specific traits used for prediction., and enjoy there by singing and dancing.
During Uttarayan, people wear new clothes and gold ornaments to look graceful.
They buy and enjoy special food, such as Undhiyu (spicy, baked mix of winter vegetables and Muthiya). Puri, Jalebi, Khakhra, Dhokla, and Chikki are the other food items, they eat during the festival.
Vasi Uttarayan celebration is on the next day of Uttarayan on 15 January.
Makar Sankranti celebration as Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti in Odisha:
In Odisha, people celebrate this day as Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti in Odisha. A large-scale Makar Mela is held in Odisha. People take a holy dip in the river and perform Puja and rituals at Lord Jagannath temple.
People prepare different varieties of traditional sweets to offer Bhog to God, then they distribute Prasad among the devotees.
West Bengal celebrates Makar Sankranti as Poush Parbon, Maghar Domahi:
In West Bengal, the name of this festival is Poush Parbon and Maghar Domahi. People prepare traditional sweets with fresh paddy and date, Khejurer Gur or Patali Gur.
They also prepare Bengali sweets, Sandesh with Chhena, and Pitha or Pithe with rice flour, coconut, milk, and ‘Khejurer Gur’, traditionally.
Poush Parbon is a three-day festival, which begins on the day before Makar Sankranti and ends on the day after the Sankranti.
The famous Ganga Sagar Mela is an important event during Makar Sankranti, at the head of the River Ganges and on the banks of river Hooghly in West Bengal.
Lacs of devotees visit this place to take a holy dip in the Ganges to nullify the ill effects of their past sinful deeds.
The celebration of Makar Sankranti as Bhogali Bihu/ Magh Bihu in Assam and other north-eastern states:
Assam and other northeastern states also celebrate this harvest festival as Magh Bihu in Assam.
People celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm in Assam, Sikkim, and other northeastern states, by performing Puja, distributing, and enjoying traditional sweets.
After bathing or taking a holy dip in the river water, people wear new clothes and visit the temples to perform Puja rituals.
Other countries celebrate Makar Sankranti with the following names:
People in Bangladesh also celebrate this Hindu festival Makar Sankranti, as Sankrant or Poush Sankranti.
In Nepal, the name of this festival is Maghe Sankranti or Maghi, Khichadi Sankranti (Nepali and Maithili), which generally happens on the 14th of January, every year.
People, celebrate this Hindu festival in almost all parts of Russia, northeast Asia, England, the United States of America, and Canada.
The names of other countries which celebrate Makar Sankranti are as follows:
Sri Lanka as Pongal, Uzhavar Thirunal; Myanmar as Thingyan; Thailand as Songkran; Cambodia as Moha Sangkran.
Sankranti or Uttarayana/January 15, 2023 Punya-kaal
The Uttarayana Punya-Kal or Uttarayana Punyakalam (holy bath) begins with the Movement of planets in the sky in real time of the Sun in Capricorn (Makar Rashi) or Makar Sankranti at noon.
Makara Sankranti Punya kala:
07:15 AM to 05:46 PM.
Maha Punya kala:
07: 15 AM to 09:00 AM, Makar Sankranti Moment – 08: 57 PM on 15th January, 2023.
Lac of pilgrims rise early in the morning and take a ritual bath at Sangam at Prayag in Allahabad, Kshipra river in Ujjain, Ganga Sagar in West Bengal, or at other holy river banks.
They offer Arghya to Lord Surya, chant Surya Mantra and perform different rituals on this day.
Devotes worship Lord Shiva, Vishnu, and Surya and perform rituals on the day of Makar Sankranti.
Snan-daan or donation for Pitra Dosha Rremedy
Makar Sankranti is an auspicious day for visiting the place of pilgrimage and taking a holy dip in the river.
People should donate Til (sesame seeds) Gur (jaggery), Urad Dal Khichadi (mixture of black gram and rice), and give grains to animals and birds.
They should donate clothes and bedding to Brahmin or priests and also poor needy people.
The holy Snan-Daan may cancel Pitra Dosha and the curses of past and present life.
This day is most significant for attaining Moksha (Salvation) and fulfilling the long-awaited desires of devotees.
People distribute and eat Khichadi, made of Urad dal(black gram and rice). They also distribute Ladoo, which is made of Til and Gur (sesame seeds and jaggery) or Chikki or Tilkut as Prasad.
Blanket or bedding are other options for the Donations.
Surya Beej Mantra
You may chant Surya Beej Mantra as follows:
1.”Om Ghrini Suryayae Namah”
2.”Om Namo Bhagavate Suryayae namah”.
You may also recite 11th chapter of Bhagwat Geeta.