Makar Sankranti 2023: Date, History, Significance, Rituals
The Makar Sankranti festival is observed annually on January 14 in parts of Northern India and the East. In honor of the season's first harvest, the Makar Sankranti festival is held. Mother Earth Day is honored by citizens all over the nation, and it is observed under various names in different regions of India. It occurs in the lunar month of Magha, which corresponds to January. On this day, the sun enters the Makara zodiac sign (Capricorn). The start of the sun's journey towards the Northern Hemisphere is believed to occur on this day, which is another reason why it is considered lucky (Uttarayanam). Every year, it typically occurs on the same day, either the 14th or 15th. Except for the years when it moves forward or backward by a single day.
Date and timing of Makar Sankranti 2023
Makar Sankranti is celebrated every year on January 14 and 15 and is also known as the Kite Festival or Khichdi. Commemorating the start of the harvest season, it will be observed this year on January 15th, 2023.
History of the Makar Sankranti
According to scholars, the festival of Makar Sankranti is mentioned in both the Mahabharata and the Puranas. According to legend, the Vedic sage Vishvamitra was the one who first began the festival. In the Mahabharata, it says that the Pandavas celebrated Makar Sankranti while they were living in the forest.
Significance and rituals related to Makar Festival
On this joyous occasion, people worship the goddess Sankranthi. In addition, people traditionally bathe in the Ganga or Yamuna rivers, pray to the God Sun, and wish for good health and wealth. They also give out money, clothes, grains (rice), jaggery, laddoos (both sesame and puffed rice), and lentils to those in need. Legend has it that Sankranti defeated Sankarasur, a demonic figure central to Hindu mythology. On the day after Makar Sankranti, people celebrate with a holiday known as Karidin or Kinkrant. And on this day, the demon Kinkarasur was killed by Devi. Additionally, it's said that flying kites in the crisp wind on this day brings luck.
Do’s and don’ts on Makar Sankranti
Maintain a sattvic diet and stay away from onions and garlic. To get rid of all the negativity in your life, don't forget to take a shower or a holy dip in the river. Donate money, food, and clothing to the less fortunate. Additionally, reciting the Gayatri Mantra on this day is thought to bring good fortune, according to the auspicious Puranas.
Foods to eat on Makar Sankranti
Following the holy bath on this day, people in some East and North regions eat laddoos made with black or white sesame seeds and flattened rice that has been soaked in curd, jaggery, or sugar. In addition, a variety of fritters and khichdi are cooked and eaten on this day.