Makar Sankranti is here and everyone would be trying hard to cut their neighbour’s kite whereas some will go for binge eating sesame sweets. But, do you know the significance behind this age-old tradition of eating ladoos and kite flying?
Health benefits and warmth of tiny sesame seeds are obviously the reason. But, very few know the real purpose behind it. According to ancient belief, sesame awaken our soul, induce positivity, and enhance our sattvikta.
Similarly, there is a reason behind flying kites early in the morning and wearing black outfits.
Read further to know more.
Sun Meets Shani
Winter solstice comes to an end with the arrival of Makar Sankranti when Sun begins it’s journey to the Capricorn( Makar ) ruled by Lord Shani.
Also Read: Savories To Have A Palatable Lohri
Til (Sesame) Sweets
Variety of ladoos and chikkis are made fresh in every house during Makar Sankranti. This Makar Sankranti special is not just a festive treat, it’s symbolizes harmony, peace, and aims to people closer irrespective of their differences.
Sesame sweets are offered to God and same is shared with everyone. However, there is a spiritual significance of eating til on this auspicious day as it eliminate sins as per ancient belief. Beside recipes, sesame seeds infused water is used for drinking and bathing.
This enhances the divine qualities of til and awaken Chaitanya( soul), peace, and positivity in us. It also purifies and improve sattvikta( purity and wisdom). There is also an old tradition of sharing sesame sweets with everyone.
Journey To Heaven
A weird belief revolves around this festival according to which those who dies on Makar Sankranti will receive salvation and go to heaven.
One Festival, Many Names
Name changes with boundaries and that’s true in case of Makar Sankranti. Thus, it has different names and each state celebrates in their own way. Here is a list of all the regional names of Makar Sankranti:
- Karnataka- Usually, same name is used but some called it as Makara Sankramana or Suggi Habba
- Odisha- Makara Chaula or Mela
- Bihar- Til Sankrant
- Tripura- Hangrai
- Tamil Nadu- Thai Pongal
- Assam- Magh Bihu
- Kerala- Makara Jyothi/Makaravilakku
- UP- Sakraat
- West Bengal- Poush Sangkranti
Apart from Indian subcontinent, the festival is also celebrated in Nepal, Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore, and Sri Lanka.
On this day, sky is full of colors as there is a tradition of kite flying. Originally begin as a sport by the Nawabs and kings, kite flying gained an international presence with time. Gujarat and Rajasthan held kite festival to encourage kite makers and participants to show their great flying skills.
It begins early in the morning and continue till late in night. Unique themed and colorful kites are crafted every year. Size and shape is not the constraint.
The significance of kite flying lies in the exposure of body to sun as everyone get up early to begin the manjha cutting competition. The early beans of sun are not harmful for the skin and our body sufficient vitamin D.
This was originally viewed as a fun way of sun lounging during winters. Later, it got festive colors and now it is observed as a competition.
Tradition Of Wearing Black
When it comes to picking a color for traditional outfits, black has never been a choice as it symbolizes sadness. But, one state of India has a tradition of wearing black on Uttarayan. Why?
Makar Sankranti occurs on last day of winter when winter is on the peak and black being the best heat absorbent is considered suitable color for Uttarayan special outfit.
However, this is a tradition only in Maharashtra but everyone should follow this as festivals are neither color-bounded nor region specific. So, flaunt in black and for outfit ideas mark these celeb inspired ethnic black outfits:
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Maa Ganga Purifies Soul
It also has spiritual significance thus people from different regions of country take baths in the holy rivers of India. Every year Kumbh Mela is organized on this day where devotees in huge number come to bank of Ganga and take dip in its holy water.
It is believed that Maa Gange will wash off all their sins and bring prosperity and peace in their lives.
Unfortunately, this year not everyone can get a chance to dive into holy water of Ganga due to strict guidelines by government. Devotees have to show their covid report before entering and only those with negative report is allowed.