It is that time of the year when people are usually indulged in spiritual activities and donate articles, praying for good health and prosperity of their family members on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti.
Makar Sankranti is also known as Uttarayana, Maghi, or Sankranti. Also known as the harvest season, Makar Sankranti is celebrated on January 14. It also marks the sun's entry into the Makara zodiac sign (Capricorn). The day signals the start of the sun's trip toward the Northern Hemisphere (Uttarayanam).
The festival of Makar Sankranti also marks the end of winter and long days. It is celebrated as Bihu in Assam, Pongal in Tamil Nadu and Sankrat in Haryana.
Significance Of Makar Sankranti
People usually get up early and start their day by taking a dip in holy rivers and other water bodies near them. Thousands of devotees take holy dip in river Ganga in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh to offer prayers to the Sun God.
After taking a dip in holy rivers, devotees offer arpanam (an act of seeking forgiveness) and donating sesame seeds, blankets and other articles during Makar Sankranti. Sesame oil or Til ka tel reduces the ill effects of malignant planets like Rahu and gets the benefits of favourable planets.
On the occasion of Makar Sankranti, it is advised that one should donate black sesame seeds to the temples to ward off the ill effects of Saturn or Rahu. Consumption of til ke laddoos is also advised during this period.
Special Rituals for Makar Sankranti in Puri Srimandir
As per the ritual, Puri Jagannath temple will conduct special rituals of Lord Jagannath and his sibling deities on the auspicious Makar Sankranti. The deities will give darshan to the devotees in ‘Makar Chourashi Besha’.