Makar Sankranti 2018: Puja timings, rituals and significance of this harvest festival
Makar Sankranti or the festival of the Sun and fire is being celebrated on January 14 this year. It is celebrated in various ways across the country to express gratitude for a good harvest.Updated: Jan 14, 2018 11:14 IST
Makar Sankranti is a celebration of the Sun god Surya, and the harvest festival falls on January 14 this year. It marks the Sun’s transit into Makara (Capricorn) which means the end of the winter solstice and the start of longer days.
Celebrations are held across the country. In Gujarat, the event is celebrated as a two-day festival including Uttarayan and Vasi Uttarayan. Kite flying is an important activity related to the festival and you can spot thousands of kites across cities of Gujarat.
A traditional Maharashtrian celebration includes exchange of til gul laddoo (sweets made of sesame seeds and jaggery) and puran poli (a sweet flatbread) as a gesture of goodwill. People gift the laddoos to each other and say “Til gul ghyaa, god-god bola” (accept this til-gul and speak sweetly). Many people also wear black garments on this day.
Makar Sankranti is also considered a good day to bathe in sacred rivers and lakes to offer thanks to Surya and wash away sins. It is also an important day to visit the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh). Devotees fast and have a bath in til and water.
Makar Sankranti is also referenced in mythology. In the Mahabharata, Bhishma waited for the sun to be in uttarayan so that he could die. Another legend says that the Sun god forgave his son Shani for a transgression and Shani then visited him on Makar Sankranti.
The muhurat starts at 2am and ends at 5.41. And the auspicious time starts from 2am to 2.24am.
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First Published: Jan 14, 2018 09:14 IST