Published on October 10, 2007
Makar Sankranti: Makar Sankranti Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh Constellation - RASHI: Constellation - RASHI 30o 12 x 30o = 360o Constellation - RASHI: Constellation - RASHI Crocodile MAKAR Lion Simha Crab Karka Ram Mesh The Zodiac is divided into 12 Rashis (Constellations) Crossing of the Sun from one Rashi to the next is 'Sankranti' Makar Sankrant: Makar Sankrant Mostly celebrated on 14 January (Some traditions celebrate it on 10th Jan) Majority festivals are based on Lunar Calendar. Makar Sankranti is based on solar calendar First of the six utsavs celebrated in Shakha Explain why ? What does ‘Makar Sankrant’ mean? Makar Sankranti: Makar Sankranti Makar – refers to the constellation (rashi) Capricorn Sam (good) + Kranti (change/ revolution) Makar Sankranti is the day the Sun enters Makar (Capricorn) rashi. It marks the day the Sun starts moving north and (uttarayan) the half of the year characterized by increasing daylight begins. Astronomical Significance: Astronomical Significance Days and nights created by spinning of the earth Earth wobbles like a spin top For 6 months it tilts towards the Sun (Uttarayan) and 6 months away from the Sun (Dakshinayan) Importance of 14 January: Importance of 14 January Shortest day is on 22 December Thereafter days become longer But the Sun begins to rise earlier from 14 January New Year Day: New Year Day Until 1752, Makar Sankranti used to be on 1st Jan 12 days were added to the English calendar in 1752 Year 1800 was not a leap year so 1 more day was added Now Makar Sankranti is on 14th January From year 2100 it will be on 15th January Til & Gud: Til & Gud Til (sesame seeds) - Full of goodness Gud (jaggery) - Binds the seeds and adds sweetness Til and Gud delicacies, if eaten in moderate quantities, it helps cope up with cold adverse weather. Symbolizes family and social bonding. Swayamsevaks are like individual seeds Aatmiyata / affection, compassion binds them together. Shakha offers opportunity to learn a lot and practice team work. Significance: Significance Victory of light over darkness Indicative of transition Change for good Start of the year with new ideas, more energy and vigour Be thankful for all that you have More strength and fun in working together Oh, Forgot to mention about fun filled kite flying event. You, too enjoy it, don’t you? Regional Variation : Regional Variation Makar Sankranti is celebrated all over India with some regional variations: North India, In Punjab, Haryana – it’s called Lohri In North East India (Bengal, Assam) - it’s called Bhogali Bihu In Gujarat, Rajasthan – It’s widely known for Uttarayan and Kite flying festival In Maharashtra, it’s popular among kids for kite flying and traditional Haldi Kumkum event bring women neighborhood together. They exchange sweets and greetings etc. South India , In Kerala and Tamilnadu - It’s called Pongal. In Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh – It’s called Sankranti In other parts of India it’s celebrated as Makara Sankranti. Expressing gratitude for harvest adds to the spirit of celebration. Regional Variation: Regional Variation In Gujrat, traditionally, UNDHIU (a mix of vegetables and green beans) and PURI are served on the festival. Other traditional snacks include CHIKKI (a sweet peanut / nuts bar) and fruits like berries and guava. In Maharashtra, Til Gud recipies are common. The married ladies in Maharashtra arrange "haldi kum kum", an auspicious religious get together by way of which they call upon their friends and relatives and distribute sweets and gifts. In Maharashtra, exchange of til-gud is indicative of overcoming hard feelings and bonding for sweet relations. In south India, pongal (rice cooked with milk and jaggery) is served at homes and temples. Makara Sankranti is celebrated in Kerala at Sabarimale where the Makara Jyoti is visible followed by the Makara Vilakku celebrations. In Punjab, Haryana, the ritual is done to welcome newly wed or newly born in front of holy bonfire where in they offer water soaked rice grains. It’s marked with the spirit of thankful expression for the harvest. Celebrations Outside India : Celebrations Outside India In Nepal, - Tharu people – celebrate it as Maghi Other people – Maghe Sankranti or Maghe Sakrati The Hindu migrated outside India continue to celebrate this festival on different scales. In USA, it’s becoming very popular. In Houston, TX, 4 to 5 thousand gather for kite flying. Marathi Mandals continue tradition of Haldi kumkum Now, it’s your turn to say …: Now, it’s your turn to say … How would you celebrate it ? Why ? What do you like about it ? Why ? What did you find inadequately explained ? Research for an answer / explanation. Share that info. with others. More info. on other related traditions. Discuss the significance and relevance Tasks to Learn: Tasks to Learn Care for your folks, your friends in and outside of Shakha Learn to make a kite and manja. Learn to cook – Pongal, Til Gul, Laddoo, Chikki, Undhiu, Puri, Dahi-Poha etc. Share your joys with others. Know your friends, their problems, if any. How can you be of help to them, in any way ? How to overcome hard feelings and start over a new bond ?