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Significance of ‘Makar Sankranti’
Jan 2019

The festival of ‘Makar Sankranti’ is sun-centric, hence it is the initiation of the northern solstice of the Sun and recognised as the transition of winter to the spring season. In traditional Indian terminology this transition is also termed as the Sun’s movement from ‘Dhanu Rashi’ to ‘Makar Rashi’ as per the Indian Vedic calendar.  ‘Makar Sankranti’ falls every year around the middle of the month of January. This is also a mid-winter spiritual festival of India and Nepal carrying great sacred and divine values. That is why this day is celebrated as a special festival and a holy dip in the river or other sacred ponds is thought to be very favourable to purify the whole body, mind, and soul. 

The devotees also pray to the Almighty for the welfare of the whole world. In northern India, especially in Punjab, the festivals of ‘Maghi’ and ‘Lohri’ are also closely connected with ‘Makar Sankranti,’ whereas ‘Bihu’ festival is observed in Assam. Similarly, this day is marked as ‘Pongal’ in the state of Tamil Nadu and adjoining areas. These multiple social, religious and spiritual causes enhance the status of this festival. 

Practical And Feasible Aspects
Other socio-religious activities like marriages, sacred celebrations, and other rituals amongst the ‘Solah Sanskar’ in Hindu mythology also get enough ‘Muhurtas’ during the period of ‘Uttrayana.’ The longer days, maximum output, energetic environment, a freshness of the season of spring and safer terrains support the scientific logic behind this festival. Thus, ‘Uttrayan’ is considered to be the most favourable period and this logical ground strengthens the authenticity behind each socio-spiritual principle laid down by our great seers and sages thousands of years back.