In the month of Paush, when the Sun becomes Uttarayan and resides in Capricorn, then this occasion of Makar Sankranti is celebrated in different provinces of the country in the form of different festivals like Lohri, somewhere Khichdi fest, somewhere Pongal etc. Makar Sankranti is a festival in Hindu religion which has religious as well as scientific significance.
Makar Sankranti religious significance
Donation is 100 times fruitful – In the Puranas, Makar Sankranti has been described as the day of the gods. It is believed that donations made on this day return a hundredfold.
Auspicious work begins – Good days begin with Makar Sankranti, because Malamas ends on this day. After this, all the auspicious activities like marriage, Mundan, sacred thread ceremony etc.
The doors of heaven open – There is a religious belief that the doors of heaven open on the day of Makar Sankranti. On this day, one attains salvation by worshiping, reciting, donating and taking bath in the holy river. According to the legend, Bhishma Pitamah was blessed with the boon of dying, but due to Dakshinayan Sun, he remained on the bed of arrows and waited for Uttarayan Sun and sacrificed his body in Uttarayan on Makar Sankranti, so that he could free himself from the bondage of birth and death.
Ganga ji came to earth – Mother Ganga appeared on earth on the day of Makar Sankranti. It was only through Ganga water that 60,000 sons of King Bhagiratha got salvation. After this, Ganga ji went and joined the ocean outside Kapil Muni’s ashram.
Makar Sankranti Scientific Importance
Why do we eat sesame and jaggery ? – Changes in nature begin as the Sun becomes Uttarayan. People shrinking due to cold start getting relief from winter due to the bright light of the sun. Although the cold is intense on Makar Sankranti, in such a situation food items which provide heat to the body are eaten. This is the reason why sesame, jaggery and khichdi are eaten on Makar Sankranti so that the body remains warm.
Paths to progress open – In both Puranas and science, Makar Sankranti i.e. the Uttarayan position of the Sun has greater importance. With the Uttarayan of the Sun the nights become shorter and the days become longer. It is said that in Uttarayan, man moves towards progress. Due to less darkness and increase in light, human strength also increases.
Scientific importance of kite flying – The importance of kite flying on Makar Sankranti is also related to science. Sunlight is healthy for the body and very beneficial for the skin and bones. This is why by flying kites we spend a few hours in sunlight, which provides health.
Taking bath on this occasion removes planetary defects from the horoscope
This time the festival of Makar Sankranti will be celebrated on Monday in Shatabhisha Nakshatra on Vyatipat Yoga Shukla Paksha Chaturthi date. On this day, Surya Dev goes to the house of his son Shani Dev to meet him because Shani Dev is the lord of Capricorn, hence it is called Makar Sankranti. It is believed that on the day of Makar Sankranti, taking bath by mixing black sesame seeds and Ganga water in water removes the planetary defects of the horoscope and also receives the blessings of the Sun God.
Attainment of salvation by bathing in the holy river Ganga
By taking bath in the holy river Ganga on this day, one attains salvation and gets eternal fruits. At the same time, the sins committed in previous births, knowingly or unknowingly, are erased. On this day the Gods and Goddesses are happy together. It is said that on this day Mother Ganga descended on earth and following King Bhagiratha, passed through Kapil Muni’s ashram and reached Ganga Sagar.
All the Gods and Goddesses change their form and come to take bath
Sixty thousand cursed sons of King Sagar were saved by the holy water of Ganga. On the day of Makar Sankranti, all the gods and goddesses change their forms and come to take bath. Taking bath in Sangam is like attaining infinite virtues. Donation has great importance on the festival of Makar Sankranti.
On this day, taking bath in Ganga and donating blankets, ghee, sesame seeds, ladoo, clothes etc. has special significance. From Makar Sankranti itself, the days start getting longer and the duration of the nights starts decreasing. Celebrating Makar Sankranti festival has special significance in Indian culture.