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Makar Sankranti is one of the most awaited holidays that comes in the beginning of the year, apart from Republic Day. Makar Sankranti is celebrated with pomp and show in both the rural as well as urban India. This harvest festival is a treat for the eyes, since it is a festival that is celebrated with the animals as well such as cattle. Makar Sankranti is a beautiful and an elegant festival, where people engage themselves in different activities on all four days of the festival.
There is celebration in the air with dance and music as well as treats in the tummy, which do keep one content and full. The one thing to look forward to in this Pongal festival is the purple-strong sugarcanes and the dazzling kites that fly high up in the sky.
Makar Sankranti is the only Hindu festival which is observed as per the Gregorian calendar. All other festivals are decided as per the Tithis or dates of the luni-solar calendar followed by the Hindus. It falls on 14 January every year. A religious day, it marks the transit of Sun into Capricorn. While Makar Sankranti obviously impacts the zodiac signs, the festival is considered an important day for donations. Here is all the information about Makar Sankranti 2019. Take a look.
Makar Sankranti Dates 2019
Makar Sankranti this year falls on 15 January. As said before, the day marks the transit of Sun into Capricorn; the transit this year will happen at 7.50 pm on 14 January. When this happens at night, the next day is observed as Sankranti festival. Hence, the festival astrologically falls on the next day, unlike other years.
Shubh Muhurta Or Punya Kal On Makar Sankranti
However, Punya Kal begins from 6 hours prior to and continues till 6 hours after the festival. Punya Kal is the auspicious time when we are supposed to make donations on this day. Hence, according to it, the Shubh Muhurta of the festival will already begin at 1.26 on 14 January. As usual, the entire day of 15 January, Sankranti festival will be considered auspicious for donations and related rituals.
Sankranti On A Monday
Since the transit of the Sun happens on a Monday this year, it is considered more auspicious for donations and charities. Such a Sankranti which falls on a Monday is known as Dhwankshi Sankranti. It is said that donations made on this day add to a person's virtue in the present and the next life. It can even help achieve salvation.
Why Is It Called Makar Sankranti?
Do you know why it has this special name? The history of the name goes like this - the name signifies the movement of the sun from one zodiac sign to another. This name of the festival literally means the movement of the sun into the sun-sign Capricorn, or in other words, Makar.
Why Is The Day & Night Long On This Festival?
It is said that on this auspicious day of the festival, the day and night is longer. According to science, it is one of the oldest solstice festivals and thus this falls on the equinox, which is the day and night, thus being a long day in the year.
Various Names Of Makar Sankranti?
Makar Sankranti is extremely popular in the West of India and South of India. This festival is commonly known as Pongal in the South, and in the North of India it is known as Lohri. The festival of Makar Sankranti is known by various other names, such as Suggi Habba, Makar Sankramana or Makar Sankranthi in Karnataka. It is known as Thai Pongal and Uzhavar Thirunal in Tamil Nadu. It is named Uttarayan in Gujarat. It is called Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu in Assam. Shishur Saenkraat in Kashmir. Poush Sankranti is the name in West Bengal. The festival is also celebrated in Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. While it is known as Magh Sankranti in Nepal, the name given to this festival in Bangladesh is Shakrain or Poush Sangkranti. People in Pakistan call it Tirmoori. Uttarayan and Khichdi are some of the other names that are related to the festival.
Why Should We Eat Til (Sesame Seeds) On Pongal?
On the festival of Makar Sankranti, there are a list of foods that are distributed among friends and family. This festival, which has en number of names, is also commonly called the til-gul festival, in which this term relates to sesame and jaggery laddoos or chikkis. It is a common food that is widely consumed during this harvest festival.
What Should You Donate On Sankranti?
On the day of Makar Sankranti, one should make the donations soon after taking bath. Taking a holy bath in a sacred river is of high importance. Donations of the following things can be considered: land, gold, grains, blanket, woollen clothes or shoes, etc.
Why Are Kites A Major Part Of This Festival?
Since this harvest festival falls in the winter season, there is a lack of sunlight, which means that more diseases and infections spread during this winter month. However, kite flying involves you to stay in the sunlight for a good couple of hours. Therefore, the reason behind staying in the sun and flying the kite benefits good health as you derive vitamin D from the sun.
Pilgrimages: Why Are They Important?
On this very day, pilgrims dip themselves in the Holy Ganga to cleanse themselves from the sins of their life. It is also believed that if you die during Makar Sankranti, you are not reborn again but go directly to heaven.