Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Makar Sankranti

Makar Sankranti is an auspicious occasion which is celebrated all over India and neighboring countries like 'Nepal,Myanmar,Sri Lanka,Camodia,Thailand' etc.It is called as Makara Sankramam or Makara Sankranti in Kerala which is a grand festival day in all temples of Kerala especially at Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa Swamy Temple.Makara Sankramam followed by 'Makara Vilakku' is the most important and significant celebration of this temple and on that day evening 'Makara Jyothi' is witnessed at 'Ponnambalamedu' and 'Makara Nakshatram' a celestial star appears on the eastern horizon.
Special pooja rituals will be held at Sabarimala Ayyappa temple at the time of 'Makara Sankramam'.This year the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Ayyappa Swamy will be opened and Pooja rituals will be held  around 1.30 a.m. on 15th January 2016.
                       
Makara Sankramam is the auspicious time of transition of Sun into the zodiac sign of 'Makara' which is Capricorn.Usually this happens on January 14th or 15th every year.From this time on wards Sun starts to move towards North for a period of six months which is known as 'Utharayan' in India.During this period the days will be longer and warmer and people consider this period to perform   auspicious things as well as sacred rituals.The other six months period when Sun moves southwards is known as 'Dakshinayan'.
It is believed  that one year  of humans is one day for 'Devas' (the celestial beings).Utharayan period which is called as 'Utharayana Kaalam' in Malayalam is considered as the day time of the Devas when they will be awake.The other six months which is  'Dakshinayana Kaalam' is the night time of the Devas.
More over Makar Sankranti brings the spring season and people celebrates the occasion joyfully.People greet the season by getting rid of the old and useless articles,clean the house and surroundings,prepare special dishes and sweets,wear colorful new dresses,visit friends, relatives and exchange gifts,sing and dance in groups and so on.
In Kerala may be because the climate is moderate throughout the year and Makara Sankranti does not bring any notable changes in climate  it is not a big celebration.
In Tamil Nadu it is a four day celebration and is called as 'Pongal'.In Karnataka also this is a four day celebration and known as 'Makara Sankramana'.In Gujarat it is known as 'Uttarayan' and in States like Punjab,Haryana and Himachal Pradesh it is known as 'Maghi'.It is 'Bhogali Bihu' in Assam and 'Khichdi' in Uttar Pradesh.
                      
Colorful paper kites flying by young and old alike can be witnessed in many states as a joyful pastime during this celebration period.Beautiful kites having various shapes and color will be available in plenty at all shops during this period.



 

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