The Makar Sankranti is a most popular festival
celebrated by the people of Kumaon with great excitement and pomp.
Though this is a major Indian religious festival, Kumaon holds it with
some regional variations which are wonderful to experience. According to
the Hindu mythology, from this day onwards the sun begins to move
towards the north. It's believed that on the day of this holy festival,
the sun enters Makar (Capricorn) from Kark (Cancer). It is also the time
when migratory birds start to take flight back to the hills.
The festival of Makar Sankranti is named differently in various parts of the country. In Punjab, for example, it's known as Lohri. In the states of southern India, it is celebrated as Pongal. Wherever it's celebrated, it features a great amount of divinity and fervor.
Religious Makar Sankranti History
Makar Sankranti one of the most auspicious religious festivals celebrated in different states of the country. According to Hindu traditions, it was on this sacred day that Lord Vishnu put an end to the barbarism of the Asuras and buried them all later. That's why, this festival is also seen as the day which marks the end of injustice and the beginning of righteousness.
By studying the Puranas, you'll learn that it's the day of Makar Sankranti when the Sun god makes a visit to Shani's (his son's) house. In spite of all the differences that the father and the son have among them, they meet with each other as a symbol of fostering relationship.
Makar Sankranti Recipes
Apart from experiencing the rich devotion during the Makar Sankranti festival in Uttarakhand, you can also savour a wide range of delicacies on this auspicious occasion. If you have a sweet tooth, you can have a great time enjoy different types of sweets.
Popular Makar Sankranti recipes include Til Papdi, Besan Laddoo, Til Gajak, Kheer, Carrot Halwa, Wheat Flour Laddoo, Til Barfi, Peanut Gajak, Gokul Pithe and Bandaru Laddoo among others.
Makar Sankranti Customs
Since Makar Sankranti is a day of extreme reverence and devotion, Hindus in northern India take a holy dip in the sacred Ganges. It is believed that taking a dip into the holy Ganga on Makar Sankranti leads to salvation. All the sins of the past are washed away as people perform the ceremonious bath.
On this day, Hindus also distribute kichdi and clothes among those who are poor and in need.