Makar Sankranthi is celebrated across the globe by Hindus. The word Sankranti refers to transmigration of the sun from one constellation (Rashi) to another. Sankranthi is celebrated on the transition of the sun into the zodiac sign of Maka (Capricorn). There are 12 Rashis across the year. Sankranthi falls mostly on the same day of the calendar year on 14th or 15 January. In the southern part of India Makar Sankranti is celebrated whereas, in the northern part of India, Lohri is celebrated. It is a festival of harvest and farmers celebrate it with great zeal. They offer sweets to the fire God.
The festival is celebrated to honor The Sun God, which is a symbol of knowledge, light, and wisdom. The festival is celebrated to remove darkness and enlighten the life with purity and wisdom.
For children, the festival is known for sesame sweets and kite flying. The day is considered as the onset of the spring season. The farmers harvest their crops. This will be the end of winter season and the day starts to get bigger and nights shorter.
The significance of flying kite: India is a host of colorful events introducing the traditional heritage to youngsters and keeping the traditions alive. Flying kites boosts the people to aim high and fly higher to achieve dreams. Flying kite is considered as auspicious on this occasion. Families organize kite flying in grounds or rooftops. The weather is good with bright sun where the sun is transmigrating to a new Rashi. There will be special markets for kites and its accessories. Kites of all color, sizes, and shapes will be available in the market. Kite flying competition is organized by many communities, the winner will be awarded. The bright high flying kites in the clear blue sky make it an exciting experience. The warmth of the sun after the winter season is pleasant and appealing. People get up early in the morning to fly kites and the celebration continues until dusk. The early sunrays provide Vitamin D and are good for immunity and in the maintenance of healthy skin and bones. The sunrays are believed to have beneficial effects on diseases and it also helps in curing dry skin.
It is believed that Gods will awaken after winter season has come to an end and they will send their blessings. People fly the kites higher thinking it will reach to Gods in heaven and they send blessings. The kites are flown as a sign of joy and happiness.
The significance of Sesame Seeds: Traditionally people make sweets of sesame seeds and jaggery. It is assumed that the tradition of making sesame seeds have been adopted from the Maharashtrian culture which goes by the saying “eat sweet sesame and jaggery sweets and speak sweet words”. People share these sweets with relatives, friends, and neighbors which helps in removing hatred and increases love and affection towards each other.
The day is considered as auspicious for making donations, charity and to perform puja. People wear yellow colored clothes and make Urad Dal khichdi as bhog. Yellow color represents the color of the Sun, who is prayed during this festival. The houses are decorated with flowers and rangoli.
Enjoy the festival of kites and assure your safety as well!
Happy Makar Sankranti!