Makar Sankranti

Makar Sankranti is one of the most auspicious days for the Hindus and is celebrated all over the country with traditional fervor. According to Hinduism, Surya or the Sun God is the 'pratyaksha devata' or 'the God who can be seen'. Makar Sankranti marks the day of Sun's ascendancy to the Northern Hemisphere. In West Bengal, people take a holy dip at Ganga Sagar - the place where the Ganges River merges with the Bay of Bengal. In Allahabad, people take a dip at the Triveni Sangam - the confluence of Ganges River, Yamuna River and the mythical Saraswati River. In Gujarat, the festival is celebrated as Uttarayan. Special prayers are offered to the Sun God and people participate in kite flying competition. In Tamil Nadu, people celebrate this day as Pongal and in Punjab it is celebrated as Lohri Festival. The people of Andhra Pradesh call it 'Pedda Panduga' meaning big festival. The whole event lasts for four days, the first day Bhogi, the second day Sankranti, the third day Kanuma and the fourth day, Mukkanuma. In Kerala, the 40-day pilgrimage at the famous Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala ends on this day. Several tribal communities in Orissa begin their new year on this day. In certain areas of the coastal region, this is a harvest festival dedicated to the King of Hindu pantheon of Gods, Lord Indra.

Updated on 29th July, 2005


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