One of the major festivals in Hinduism is the festival of Makar Sankranti. This year, the festival will be celebrated on Friday, January 14. On this day the Sun enters Capricorn, due to which it is known as Makar Sankranti. This day is also known as Uttarayan and Khichdi in some places. It is celebrated by flying colourful kites. Taking a bath in holy rivers and doing charity is considered auspicious on this day. Know the auspicious time, worship method and mythology of the Makar Sankranti festival.
Why is Makar Sankranti celebrated?
There are a total of twelve Sankranti in the year, out of which Makar Sankranti and Kark (Cancer) Sankranti are said to be very important. There is a change in the speed of the Sun on both these solstices. During the Kark Sankranti, the Sun moves from Uttarayan to Dakshinayan and during the Makar Sankranti, the Sun moves from Dakshinayan to Uttarayan. Simply put, Makar Sankranti is the festival of the sun's Uttarayan. That is why at some places Makar Sankranti is also called Uttarayan.
In the Uttarayan period, the days become longer and the nights become shorter, whereas in the Dakshinayana period, the nights become longer and the days shorter.
Auspicious time of Makar Sankranti 2022
On January 14, Sun God will enter Capricorn at 2:43 pm. The auspicious time of Makar Sankranti is 3:02 pm while the auspicious period will starts at 2:43 pm and will end at 5:45 pm. The Mahapunya period of Makar Sankranti is of 1 hour 45 minutes which will be from 2:43 pm to 4:28 pm.
Significance of Makar Sankranti
According to Acharya Indu Prakash, it is said that bathing in the River Ganges on Makar Sankranti removes all the troubles. Therefore, donation, chanting and tapas have special significance on this day. It is believed that the donation given on this day bears special results. On this day, a person should give food or three utensils containing food items to a married Brahmin. Along with this, if possible, one should donate a cow in the name of Yama, Rudra and Dharma. If someone does not want to donate all these things, then they should donate only fruits, but one must donate something.
Mythology of Makar Sankranti
It is believed that on this day Sun God visits his son Shani Dev's house for a month. This day is especially considered special for father and son.
There is another story behind celebrating Makar Sankranti that on this day Lord Vishnu killed a demon named Madhu Kaitabh. He suppressed Madhu by placing Mandar mountain on his shoulders. On this day Lord Vishnu was given the name of Madhusudhan. Along with this, this festival is celebrated for the victory of good over evil.
On the occasion of Sankranti, the ancestors must be worshipped and they should be offered tarpan. It is said that on this day, Maharaj Bhagirath had offered tarpan to the River Ganges for the peace of the souls of his ancestors. On the special occasion of Makar Sankranti, a fair is held in Ganga Sagar even today.
In the Mahabharata period, Bhishma Pitamah also chose the day of Makar Sankranti to give up his life. Bhishma had given up his body after the sun's Uttarayan to attain salvation. In Uttarayan, the soul of the person who renounces the body gets salvation and after staying in Devlok, the soul returns to the womb again.
Mother Yashoda fasted for the birth of Krishna on the occasion of Makar Sankranti. At that time, the Sun God was doing the purdapana in the Uttarayan period and then the Sun God blessed Mother Yashoda to fulfil her wish.