What is the significance of this festival?
This festival one of the major harvest festival which is celebrated with lot of enthusiasm. This festival is a traditional and oldest event that happens on an equinox that is the length of day and night remains equally long. After Makar Sankranti, the days grow longer and the nights shorter till the next equinox.
It is said that on the day of Makar Sankranti, the Sun enters the sphere of Capricorn zodiac known as Makar. Further the term ‘Sankranti’ signifies the movement of the Sun from one zodiac sign into another. Thus, the auspicious day is named as Makar Sankranti.
Sankranti is celebrated all over India but is known by different names. In Gujarat Makar Sankranti is known as Uttarayan whereas in Tamil Nadu it is known as Pongal, Uzhavar Thirunal. In Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab it is named as Maghi. Before the arrival of this festival, people start preparing sweets and lip - smacking dishes to celebrate a good harvest period.
As the festival is celebrated in winters, people start preparing foods which can give them give them energy and also keep their body warm. Ladoos made of Til (Sesame) and Jaggery are prepared and devotees also pay respect to Goddess Saraswati.
On this day there are several Melas or fairs which are been held and one of the most famous amongst all melas is Kumbh Mela. It is been held every 12 years at one of four holy locations namely Haridwar, Prayag, Ujjain and Nashik. The Magh Mela which is the mini mela is held annually at Prayag, the Gangasagar Mela held at the Ganges River.
Makar Sankranti is all about forgetting the bitter moments of last year and moving on to a fresh start. So, here is wishing you all a very happy Makar Sankranti.
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