Makar Sankranti 2022: Interesting facts about the Uttarayan festival
Makar Sankranti 2022: While Gujaratis look forward to screaming Kai Po Che to kites flying in the sky, Uttarayan festival is lot more than just about worshipping and relishing on sweets. It comes with several interesting facts.
Makar Sankranti 2022: It is that time of the year again when the first festival of the year is here. Makar Sankranti is celebrated with a whole lot of grandeur and pomp all over the country. Celebrated in several names and traditions and practices, Makar Sankranti is referred to as the Uttarayan festival in Gujarat.
From flying kites and making sweets and relishing on lip-smacking khichdi, Uttarayan festival is one of the most-awaited festivals of Gujarat. While Gujaratis look forward to screaming Kai Po Che to kites flying in the sky, Uttarayan festival is lot more than just about worshipping and relishing on sweets. It comes with several interesting facts.
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Uttarayan holds immense astrological and traditional importance – Uttarayan is celebrated on the day the sun transitions from the Sagittarius to Capricorn. The sun god is worshipped with sweets, devotion and khichdi. In the Hindu epic Mahabharata, it was noted that King Bhishma was given the boon of choosing his own time and day of death. He waited for Makar Sankranti to ask for death to come.
Uttarayan announces the onset of spring and the harvest season. Sweets, savouries and other food items are distributed among relatives, near and dear ones and neighbours to give them the message to forget all old quarrels and start the year on a note of hope, love and togetherness.
Flying kites comes with health benefits – Kite flying is one of the most important attractions of the Uttarayan festival in Gujarat. While now it is seen as a sport, it was not always seen as the same – it is believed that kite flying was related to good health as the person would be exposed to the sun for a long time.
Uttarayan is India's version of Thanksgiving – In many ways, Uttarayan is similar to the Thanksgiving of the Western culture. Just like Thanksgiving, Uttarayan welcomes harvest, prosperity and hope. It is also the time of the year when people come together to celebrate with their loved ones.
Uttarayan was celebrated on December 31, many years ago - Due to the revolution of the earth around the sun, every eight years, the date of Uttarayan is postponed by one day. It is believed that Uttarayan was celebrated on December 31, a thousand years ago.