India celebrates Makar Sankranti today, Know history and significance

Every year, people celebrate Makar Sankranti to mark the beginning of the harvest season and also the sun’s transit to Capricorn.

Today, i.e. January 15, marks the Makar Sankranti for the year 2024. Every year, people across the country celebrate this day to mark the beginning of the harvest season and also the sun’s transit to Capricorn.

With Makar Sankranti comes warmer and longer days, marking the end of bitter cold. This period is said to last for a period of around six months. For simple understanding, the term “Sankranti” means the movement of the sun while “Makar” means “Capricorn.”

Notably, Makar Sankranti is considered as the most important of the 12 Sankrantis that fall during one year. The occasion is celebrated by different names in different places across the country.

It is called Lohri in Punjab, Pongal in South India, Uttarayan in Gujarat, and Makar Sankranti in most other parts of India. This festival holds a lot of cultural significance and traditional essence. The festival is celebrated across entire India with great enthusiasm.

On this day, people worship Lord Surya and Lord Indra for a prosperous harvest season. This Sankranti is widely marked by flying kites, preparing khichdi, and other delicacies. Traditionally, foods made with rice and jaggery should be consumed on this festive day.

The story behind celebrating Makar Sankranti is linked to the legend of Sankarasur. He was a demon who was killed by Lord Vishnu. Some legends have it that it was Goddess Sankranti who claimed the life of Sankarasur. Nevertheless, it ultimately marks the win of good over evil.

This occasion is celebrated for a period of three to four days across the country with different-different rituals. We mark this occasion to celebrate the harvest festival for warmer and happier days to come.

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