Makar Sankranti festival, unlike other Hindu festivals, is not dependent on the position of the Moon, but on position of the Sun. Makar Sankranti is celebrated on a fixed date that is 14 January every year. It is dedicated to Lord Sun. On this auspicious day, the sun enters the zodiac sign of Capricorn or Makar. This is the beginning of the month of Magh. From the day of Makar Sankranti, the sun begins its northward journey or Uttarayan journey. Therefore, this festival is also known as Uttarayan. It also marks the termination of the Winter season and the beginning of a new harvest season. 

We do celebrate Makar Sankranti for 3 days in maharashtra with full of Happiness. It is one of the biggest festival celebrated .

First day is Bhogi (भोगी)
Second day is Sankrant (संक्रांत)
Last day is Kinkrant (किंक्रांत)

1. Bhogi (भोगी)

The first day of Sankranti is celebrated in Maharashtra as Bhogi. Bhogi celebrates on the eve of Makar Sankranti. On this day, we prepare sesame millet bread, all vegetables mix sabji, butter and mung dal khichdi for lunch and dinner .

2. Sankrant (संक्रांत)

Sankranti is deemed a Deity. The story behind this festival is Sankarasur (संकरासुर) Rakshasa who was very brutal indeed. He started torturing and killing people. To finish off Sankarasur, goddess Sankranti (संक्रांति) appeared on the earth and killed Sankarasur. To celebrate the downfall of Sankarasur, people started festival Sankarti.

We celebrate Makara Sankranti by exchanging multi-colored Til-Gud (sesame seeds and sugar) and til-laddus made from til and jaggery as tokens of goodwill. People greet each other “तिळगुळ घ्या,आणि गोड-गोड बोला (til-gud ghyaa, aani goad-goad bola)” meaning, ‘Accept these sweets and utter sweet words.’ The underlying thought is to forgive and forget the past ill-feelings, resolve the conflicts, speak sweetly and remain friends. In my home my mother prepare gud poli for pooja and celebration 🙂

The festival of Sankranti requires small mud pots called sugad (in the Marathi language). Vermilion and turmeric powder is applied to the pots and a thread is tied to them. They are filled with carrots, jujube fruits, sugarcane pieces, pods, cotton, chickpeas, sesame seeds with jaggery, vermilion, turmeric etc. Five pots are placed on a wooden seat, rangoli is drawn around the seat and worshipped. Of these, three are gifted to married women, one is offered to the tulsi plant and one is retained .

This is a special day for the women in maharashtra where married women are invited for a get-together called ‘Haldi-Kunku’  Whoever invites for program, also gives gifts such as utensils, clothes etc. Typically, women wear black saris or black colored outfits. The scientific reason behind wearing black is that Sankranti comes at the peak of the winter season. Black color retains and absorbs heat, helping keep warm. They wear ornaments made of ‘Halwa’ on this day. An offering of new vessels, clothing, food, sesame seeds, pot of sesame seeds, jaggery, a cow, a horse, gold or land should be made depending on the capability. On this day, married women also make some offering. They take things from unmarried girls and give them sesame seeds and jaggery in return. 

3. Kinkrant (किंक्रांत)

The day next to Makar Sankrant is called  Kinkrant. On this day, the female deity (devi) slayed the demon Kinkarasur. 

Celebration is also to honor, worship and to pay respect to Saraswati, goddess of Knowledge. At the start of this significant event, there is worship for ancestors.

People celebrate this festival in mid-winter so food prepared for this festival is such that it keeps the body warm and gives high energy. Two main food distributed for festival are tilgul and til laddu. Sesame and jaggery are main ingredients for til laddu. Sugar and jaggery are main ingredients for TILGUL. The sky is filled with colourful kites during the day and sky lanterns at night .

Sankranti identifies a period of enlightenment, peace, prosperity and happiness which is post a period of darkness, ignorance and viciousness with immense sorrow. The six months of northern movement of the sun follows six months of southern movement.

 

I would love to know how you celebrate and enjoy Makar Sankranti 🙂

 

🌻 Happy Sankranti 🌻

 

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