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Makar Sankranti – Significance of The Festival

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By Shaina Sharma
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Makar Sankranti – Significance of The Festival

Every year, on the 14th of January, India welcomes a wave of festive cheer across the country. Somewhere between hues of yellow and the blue sky enlivened with colourful kites, the country celebrates an end and a new beginning with Makar Sankranti – the Harvest Festival.

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Makar Sankranti meaning and its significance ‘Makar’ means ‘Capricorn’ and the movement of the sun into ‘Makara Raashi’ or the ‘Zodiac of Capricorn’ is called Makar Sankranti.

People wear traditional Indian sari, the typical choice of ensemble for Makar Sankranti, of which yellow tones and luxurious Silk drapes are the more popular choices.

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In the ancient scriptures, it is suggested that one should wake up just before sunrise and take a bath on the day of Makar Sankranti, for a positive and auspicious start to the day.

While there are plenty of stories about Makar Sankranti and its religious roots, it is said that the Sun stands for “Pratyaksha-Braham”, “a manifestation of the absolute”, bestowing knowledge, spiritual light, and wisdom, and hence Makar Sankranti is a special festival across the country, where Surya- the Sun God is worshipped and offered gratitude and prayers.

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Cooking and eating Khichdi on Makar Sankranti is symbolic of unity, since the dish is cooked in a single pot by uniting all the ingredients including freshly harvested rice, lentils, seasonal vegetables, and spices, together. It signifies the process of life and regeneration, which further indicates the beginning of the new harvest year.

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Sesame Seeds and Jaggery are also eaten on this divine day. Sankranti and Til (Sesame) are synonymous as the festival is also commonly known as ‘Til Sankranti’.

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One of the most common attractions of Poush Sankranti especially in the Gujarat region is kite flying. The sound of ‘Kai Po Che’ against the lip-smacking sweets laid out on the terrace is almost an involuntary visual that comes to mind when thinking of Makar Sankranti.

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It is also believed that the kite-flying ritual came into play as a practice of good health. The idea was to expose oneself to the first light of the early morning forthcoming Summer sun and douse in the goodness of Vitamin D.

The Popdiaries Family wishes you all a very Happy Makar Sankranti !!!

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