Makar Sankranti Today!

The holiday season on bluejayblog rarely ends. Aside from New Year’s Day, today marks the first of many for the year.   According to scripture, today, Surya, the god of the sun, visits the house of Shani, his son, we know as the planet Saturn. Today is Makar Sankranti in all of India and a few other nations.  It celebrates the sidereal new year as reckoned by Indian tradition.

Symbolically, Surya represents knowledge, wisdom and sprirituality.  The deeper meaning of the holiday implies that people should wean themselves away from the darkness of delusion that we are now experiencing. Instead, everyone needs to look at a brighter view of life that stresses purity, knowledge, and wisdom.  This is physically the case as the sun rises higher into the skies.

Sankranti is the Sanskrit term for the transit of the sun in the Hindu zodiac from one sign, or Rashi, to the next.  There are twelve total Sankrantis, but the one that is most celebrated is the one that happens today.  This is when the sun transits from Dhanu Rashi to the Makara Rashi, in the west we know it as the change from Sagittarius to Capricorn.


It also commemorates the start of the harvest season and the end of one of the monsoons of South India.  It is a very ancient holiday that also goes by different names in various regions of India.

sankranti-makar-sankrantiSome of the regional variations are: Khichdi, Magh Bihu, Maghi, Pongal, Shishur Saenkraat, and Uttarayan.  I’m personally most familiar with Makar Sankranti as it is celebrated in Karnataka and Maharashtra states.

A memorable display of cattle dressed in bright costumes remains imbedded in my mind regarding the celebration in Karnataka. I also remember eating a very sweet, nutty treat called Ellu-Bella. Nuts and bella mixed with coconut and sesame seeds.  The kids showed off their new clothes, too. In Maharashtra, they enjoy a different type of very sweet treats and some flat breads. It’s a celebration of kite flying.  But the main focus in Maharashtra is on the women. It’s a big day of gift giving among them. They wear dark or black sarees today.

I hope you can reflect on the basic significance of this auspicious holiday.  This is a great time to think positively and reject negative attitudes.


The Blue Jay of Happiness repeats the Sankranti saying, “Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya” (May you go higher and higher to more and more light and never to darkness.)

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in cultural highlights, History, religion and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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