Makar Sankranti 2024: Date, Rituals, and Astrological Significance

Explore the rituals and astrological significance associated with Makar Sankranti, a colorful festival signifying new beginnings. Join us as VAMA dives into the delicacies while the sun transits through Capricorn. Read on to know more about Uttarayan 2024...

Makar Sankranti 2024: Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan is a Hindu festival that commemorates the Sun’s transition into the zodiac sign of Capricorn (Makar). This festival holds significance as one of the traditional Hindu celebrations aligned with the Solar cycle. It marks the conclusion of winter and the commencement of the harvesting season, ushering in the Magh season. Makar Sankranti is widely celebrated across the country in various forms.

A notable aspect of this festival is that there are 12 Sankranti occurrences in a year, mirroring the 12 Zodiac signs. However, each Sankranti is distinct, with the first Sankranti of the year holding special importance. On this day, the Sun enters the sign of Capricorn in the nakshatra of Uttarashada – the nakshatra embodying “winning” in astrology!!

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When is Makar Sankranti 2024?

Makar Sankranti Date: Monday, January 15, 2024

Makar Sankranti Punya Kala: 07:15 AM to 05:46 PM
Duration: 10 Hours 31 Mins

Makar Sankranti Maha Punya Kala: 07:15 AM to 09:00 AM
Duration: 01 Hour 45 Mins

Rituals, Tradition, and Pan-India Celebrations on Makar Sankranti

Kite Flying Extravaganza:
Makar Sankranti 2024

One of the most vibrant and visually spectacular aspects of Makar Sankranti is the tradition of kite flying. The skies come alive with a myriad of colourful kites, symbolising the victory of light over darkness. Kite flying competitions add a competitive edge to the festivities, creating an atmosphere of joy and excitement. Enthusiasts from all age groups gather on rooftops, parks, and open fields, engaging in friendly duels and showcasing their skill in manoeuvring kites.

For those seeking travel experiences, Makar Sankranti offers a diverse array of celebrations across India. From the colourful kite festivals in Gujarat to the serene riverbank rituals in Varanasi, there is something for every type of traveller.

Regional and Cultural Diversity:

The beauty of Makar Sankranti lies in its cultural diversity, with each state adding its unique flavour to the celebrations. The following are some of the Makar Sankranti travel destinations that attract tourists from far and wide.

In Gujarat, the International Kite Festival or Patang Utsav attracts participants from around the world, creating a global platform for kite enthusiasts.

In Tamil Nadu, the festival is known as Pongal, where people express gratitude to the Sun God through colourful rangoli, traditional dances, and the preparation of the special Pongal dish.

In Bihar and Jharkhand, individuals immerse themselves in rivers and ponds, indulging in seasonal delicacies to commemorate a successful harvest. These delectable treats encompass Chura and sweets crafted from sesame, among others.

In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the festival extends over four days. The day preceding Makar Sankranti is called Bhogi – wherein individuals discard old belongings and ceremoniously burn them in a bonfire. The subsequent day marks the main celebration, known as Pedda Panduga, where people don vibrant new attire, offer prayers, and present traditional food to both deities and their forebears.

Importance of Makar Sankranti 2024

This day is revered among ancient scriptures to be of special importance. It is believed that by taking a bath in holy rivers on Makar Sankranti and performing acts of charity, chanting, penance, and rituals, and appeasing the gods and goddesses fulfills all desires of mankind. Further, it is customary to eat khichdi, yogurt with flattened rice, and sesame (til) laddoos. Consuming these helps eradicate sins of previous seven lifetimes, and one attains the blessings of Lord Surya, the sun deity.

The profound essence of this vibrant festival is rooted in its profound reverence for the Sun and other vital natural elements. It serves as a period for expressing gratitude and offering prayers to these indispensable aspects of our lives. Individuals engage in worship and express thanks to Lord Surya for the success and prosperity bestowed upon them. Consequently, the blessings of the Sun help in overcoming obstacles one might encounter and propel them forward in their studies and career.

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Makar Sankranti 2024: Astrological Significance

Makar Sankranti carries a divine essence. This period holds particular significance for sages and yogis, symbolising an opportune moment for embarking on a new phase in their spiritual journey. Generally, people view this time as a symbol of fresh starts, a chance to release unpleasant memories and associations from the past. Another notable aspect is the Sun’s transition from Dakshinayan to Uttarayan on this auspicious day, a position considered highly propitious. From a religious standpoint, Makar Sankranti signifies Surya forgetting all his rivalry with his son Shani Dev to finally visit his house. The association of Makar Sankranti with joy and prosperity is rooted in these beliefs.

The upcoming Makar Sankranti in 2024 holds particular significance as a Capricorn stellium is set to make it exceptional. This phenomenon, featuring the transits of four planets (Sun, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mercury) in Capricorn, is referred to as a stellium in astrology. It marks a monumental and potentially history-changing start to the year.

Similar to previous years, Makar Sankranti in 2024 will be observed nationwide on the 15th of January, coinciding with Magh Krishna Paksha Dwitiya. It is advisable to engage in rituals such as Surya Puja and Magha Nakshatra Puja, along with the recitation of sacred mantras on this auspicious day. To honour the significance of Sankranti, it is recommended to refrain from activities like weddings, shaving or cutting hair, oiling of the entire body, and initiating new ventures.

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Essence of Makar Sankranti: Culinary Delights of the Festival

As with any Indian festival, Makar Sankranti is incomplete without a feast of delectable dishes. Sesame seeds and jaggery take centre stage during this celebration, as they are believed to provide warmth and energy in the cold winter months. Tilgud, a sweet made from sesame seeds and jaggery, is exchanged among family and friends as a symbol of sweetness in relationships. As a ritual, people also prepare khichdi as part of their routine meal.

To sum up, Makar Sankranti is more than just a festival; it is a kaleidoscope of traditions, spirituality, and cultural richness. As the kites soar high in the sky, they carry with them the collective spirit of communities coming together to celebrate the changing seasons and the eternal cycle of life. Whether you’re captivated by the visual spectacle of kite flying or drawn to the spiritual essence of the festival, Makar Sankranti is an experience that leaves an indelible mark on the hearts of those who partake in its celebrations.

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