The festival of Makar Sankranti marks the beginning of an auspicious phase in Hindu culture. Sankranti means transit of Sun from one zodiac sign to other. It marks the transition of sun into the zodiac sign of Makar (Capricorn), which is the holy phase of transition. Makar Sankranti marks the end of an inauspicious phase, and sacred Hindu rituals can be sanctified from this day. The sun on this day ends its southward journey i.e. ‘Dakshinayan’, and starts moving northwards i.e. ‘Uttarayan’, towards the Tropic of Cancer in the Hindu month of Paush (starts mid-December). Uttarayan is the daytime of the deity. Night is considered as the symbol of sin and false doing, whereas day is regarded as the symbol of truth, virtue and religion. So when it is day for Gods, all auspicious activities are performed on Makar Sankranti when days become longer and nights become shorter.
In Hinduism, the Sun stands for light (knowledge, spirituality, and wisdom), unity, equality and true selflessness - the ideals of Karma Yoga. Hence, the Sun is the biggest karma yogi. Does it ask for any rewards for all that it gives us? If it stops giving light, we will be doomed. Sun goes on bestowing on us life, health & vitality without expecting any reward.
Thus Makara Sankranti signifies shunning the darkness of delusion and allowing the light within shine brighter. We should grow in purity, wisdom and knowledge just as the sun does. If we learn this one lesson from the Sun, our lives will shine with the divine lustre.
One Of The Few Indian Festivals That Falls On The Same Day Every Year According To The Gregorian Calendar.
Makar Sankranti, the festival of kites and til chikkis is here! On January 14 every year, we celebrate Makar Sankranti. It is the only Indian festival celebrated on a fixed calendric day of the solar calendar. All other Indian festivals are celebrated as per the lunar calendar, which make their days of celebration on the solar calendar vary every year.
Most Hindu festivals follow the position of the moon and are based on the lunar calendar. Thus, the dates of festivals change every year. But Makar Sankranti is a festival which falls on the same day every year as it follows the solar calendar. However, once every eighty years, due to revolution, the day is postponed by one day.
Makar Sankranti is celebrated on the 14th of January every year (sometimes on the 15th) for now. From 2050, it is predicted that the festival will fall on the 15th January (and occasionally on the 16th).
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