Makar Sankranti is an important festival in Hinduism. This year, it will be celebrated on 14th (Wednesday) of January 2015. It is celebrated to show our respect for Sun God and gratitude to our mother nature for good harvest. It is a time when Sun transits from home Sagittarius to Capricorn in Northern hemisphere. This transition will occur on 14th of January and stays there till July 14 2015. The festival is an auspicious occasion of starting new project, thanksgivings, and new commitments.
Ritual and meritorious works are performed by people during this festival. But, people need to perform their auspicious work in ideal time i.e. time starting between of Makar Sankranti and 40 ghatis (roughly 16 hours), is also termed as punya kaal. During punya kaal, activities like taking dip in holy river, offering Naivedhya (offering food) to Sun, offering charity, ritual showing gratitude, breaking fast or Paraná are done by devotees. If this auspicious period (muhurta) falls in sunset, then activities are postponed for following day as rituals are done only during the day time.
Festival is a great spiritual and religious significance period for devotees. During the festival, people prepare ladoos from sesame seeds and jaggery. Till or sesame seeds has superior capacity of attracting and emanating sattva frequencies, hence eating or distributing sesame made sweets helps to develop spiritual knowledge. Exchange of sweets is done to disregard all ill feeling and conflict with one another. People appreciate one another and forgive bitterness of past to create a friendly environment to start a good year.
It is an occasion when Surya Dev visits his son Shani, even though they don’t get along well. In Mahabharata epic, Bhishma Pitamah left his body on this day to gain moksha. It is believed whoever dies on this day, attain nirvana. On this day, Maharaj Bhagirath could bring down Ganga to liberate 60,000 sons of Maharaj Sagar from curse. Hence in this auspicious occasion, devotees dip in Ganga to wash away their sins.
The festival is celebrated with great fervor and enthusiasm across the country. Though, festival is called by different names but main aim is to attain enlightenment, serenity, opulence and happy life by devotees. Hope this Makar Sankranti festival brings good tidings and happiness in your life.