Monday, January 14, 2019

Makar Sankranti 2019 And First Shahi Snan Tomorrow

Shubh muhurat for Shahi snan. This Makar Sankranti, welcome Maa Lakshmi to your home by taking a dip in the river of wealth.

Makar Sankranti is a major festival among Hindus. In India, this is one festival which is celebrated in different forms in different regions. The rituals and names may vary, but the intention of celebrating the hard work of farmers is the same. Makar Sankranti is observed on 14th January, but this year it will fall on 15th. It is the day when Sun starts its journey towards the Northern Hemisphere, thus warming up the days. With this change in movement, Sun transits into Capricorn sign

Though most of the dates of Hindu festivals are calculated on the basis of Panchang, this is one festival which is celebrated as per the movement of the Sun only. With this festival, people bid goodbye to winters and welcome the refreshing spring which is fast approaching. With sweet breeze flowing, days getting longer, people fly kites on this day.

Makar Sankranti Muhurat (New Delhi, India)
15 January, 2019 (Tuesday)
Punya Kaal Muhurat
From 07:15:14 to 12:30:00
5 hrs 14 min
Maha Punya Kaal Muhurat
From 07:15:14 to 09:15:14
2 hrs 0 min
Occurence of Sankranti
19:44:29 on 14th, January

First Shahi Snan of Kumbh begins with Makar Sankranti

As per religious beliefs, the first Shahi Snan of Kumbh begins after the transit of Sun in Capricorn sign. Though Kumbh and Makar Sankranti are two different aspects, first holy bath generally takes place after the transit of Sun in the sign Capricorn. Kumbh Mela is organized every twelve years. In the year 2019, in Prayagraj, Allahabad at Triveni Sangam, the fair called Ardh (half) Kumbh will be organized. Ardh Kumbh is organized every six years. 

Significance of Shahi Snan

Among several religious places in India, there are places where pilgrimage or prayers are considered to be auspicious, particularly during the month of Magh, especially on the day of Makar Sankranti. Kumbh mela and Sabri mela in Kerala are such occasions which are so huge that they become tourist attraction. People take a dip in Narmada river and pray for a prosperous year. It is believed that taking a bath in holy rivers clears your past sins.

Scientific Significance of Makar Sankranti

On the day of Makar Sankranti, it is better if you take a bath after applying til (sesame seeds) oil all over your body. You must, thereafter, donate jaggery, sesame seeds, oil, blankets, fruits, umbrellas, etc. to the poor and needy as per your capacity. Scientifically, this day is significant as the day and night are nearly equal on this day. The days start becoming longer and nights get shorter, which is an indication of the winter season to be over. The weather is warmer and pleasant as Sun starts moving towards North.

While Sun is moving towards the South, the rays do not seem to be good for one’s health but when the direction of movement is towards the North, the rays of Sun become beneficial for health. 

Festivals Associated with Makar Sankranti

During the month of January, farmers start harvesting the rabi crops. The season of Spring is around the corner and the atmosphere is of bliss. This festival of harvesting has different names popular across different states, but the motive is to celebrate the rewards of the hard work farmers put in to receive good yield in their farms. Let’s discuss a few of them:

Pongal: Pongal is primarily the festival of farmers and the harvesting festival of South-India. It is celebrated in the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh. There is a trend of worshipping cows along with worshipping God and showing gratitude towards them.

Uttarayan: The festival of Uttarayan and International Kite Flying festival has made the state of Gujrat so popular that people recognize it with its festivals. Every year, on 14th or 15th January, Uttarayan is celebrated. In Gujrat, people also keep a fast on this day which is contrary to the tradition of eating Khichdi prevalent in North India.

Lohri: The most renowned festival of Punjab, Lohri is celebrated on 13th of January every year. It is a festival of harvest celebrated by lighting a bonfire, singing and dancing around it, and just like any festival of Punjab is incomplete without food, enjoying traditional dishes. Popcorns, Sesame seeds, jaggery and sweets made from these are popular snacks consumed on Lohri.

Magh/Bhogali Bihu: A festival of Assam which is celebrated thrice a year is Bihu. One of the three Bihus is Bhogali Bihu which is celebrated with pomp and show. Bihu dance is an inseparable part of this celebration, and so are the traditional cuisines. Til (sesame seeds), rice, sugarcane and coconut are the crops popular in this region. Dishes are made from these and served to all the guests.

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