Makar Sankranti, is a Hindu festival that is followed in the month of January, every year. This refers to a specific Solar day according to the Hindu calendar. This festival marks the beginning of the summer season and follows a ritual to welcome the Sun, to bless them with warmth. Since this festival is celebrated according to the Solar calendar, it falls on the same day every year. This festival falls on January 14th in the year 2018 (14/Jan/2018), like the past years. This day is celebrated under different names in different regions of the country namely Lohri by North Indians, Sukarat in Central India, Pongal by Tamil Nadu people, etc.
Rituals and Celebrations:
Makar Sankranti involves colourful decorations, dances, kite flying, bonfires and feasts. During this day, each and every person follows spiritual practises like bathing in holy water, decorating their house with colours, white washing their house by discarding old materials and purchasing new articles. In South India, they conduct Rangoli competitions, in each and every region for those people. They also worship God with sweet, that is based on jaggery. Many people visit their native and spend their time with relatives.
In many regions in India, they sow their crops and dedicate their hard work to the Sun with the crops. During this time, they also organise bonfires and take care of their cattle breed. Even though there are many variations in the celebration and worship methods, the main motive is to welcome Sun after a long winter. They also wear new clothes and receive blessing from their family elders, during this festival.
In many places in India, it is celebrated as a four day rituals, starting on January 13th, will be celebrated as Bhogi, a ritual where people discard their old stuff by burning it in the fire. January 14th, is celebrated as Makar Sankranti, followed by few more rituals in the next two days.
Date, Puja Time and Muhurt:
This special occasion falls on the same day each and every year, since this festival is followed according to the Solar Calendar. The auspicious time for puja are as follows:
- Date: January 14, 2017
- Punya Kaal Muhurta: 14:00 to 18:02
- Duration: 4 hours and 2 minutes
- Sankranti Moment: 14:00
- Mahapunya Kaal Muhurta: 14:00 to 14:24
- Duration: 24 minutes
We can worship and follow the rituals of this auspicious day on the above mentioned timings. Even though, it is good to worship in the Maha Punya Kaal Muhurta, inviduals can worship and follow their rituals on Punya Kaal Muhurta as well.