Makara Sankranthi festival is celebrated throughout India, and it is a major festival of the country. In Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, the southern states of India, this festival is celebrated for four days, as thanks giving for a bountiful harvest, in the middle of January every year. The first day is Bhogi festival, the second day is the most important day of this festival called Sankranthi, the third day is Kanuma festival and the fourth day is Mukkanuma. It also marks the end of winter and the arrival of spring.
Makara Sankrathi Festival in South India By Astrologer In India
The people of Andhra Pradesh call Sankranthi 'Pedda Panduga' meaning big festival.
Significance of the festival
Makara Sankranthi day is considered as the commencement of the Sun's journey to the Northern Hemisphere, which is called Uttharayana. In the following six months, the days are longer and warmer.
Like other festivals of India, Makara Sankranthi also has many legends.
- One legend is that Bhishma Pitamaha in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, who had received a boon to choose his time of death, chose this day to end his life.
- Another legend is that Lord Vishnu buried the demons on this day beneath the Mandara Mountain, which signifies the end of evil and the dawn of righteousness.
- Yet another legend is that the Surya, the Sun God visits his son Lord Shani on this day, ignoring their difference of opinions.
The Rituals followed
All the old and unused junks in the house are destroyed in the fire, which marks cleansing of the house with a fresh start to the new year. The second day before the sunrise, people wake up and have bath, and welcome and pray Lord Surya with water and flowers.
The entrance of the houses are decorated with artistically drawn rangolis. People wear new dresses and visit relatives and friends and exchange pieces of sugarcane, a mixture of fried til, molasses, pieces of dry coconut, peanuts and fried gram. The belief behind this exchange is that sweetness should prevail in all the dealings.