In astrology, the Sun’s transit from one zodiac sign to another is called Sankranti. In the month of Paush, the Sun leaves Sagittarius and enters Capricorn and this is when Hindus celebrate Makar Sankranti. The period between two Sankrantis is called a Solar Month. According to astronomy, the festival of Makar Sankranti is celebrated when the Sun moves from Dakshinayana to Uttarayan, or the northern hemisphere of the earth turns towards the Sun. Sankranti is also called Uttarayani in many areas of the country due to the Sun being Uttarayan. It is celebrated on 14th or 15th January every year.
The scientific reason for Makar Sankranti is that from this day onwards, as the Sun becomes Uttarayan, nature begins to change. Sankranti marks the ending of the winter season. India is an agricultural country. Most of the festivals celebrated here are related to agriculture. At the time of Makar Sankranti, farmers plant rabi crops and take home kharif crops such as rice, maize, sugarcane and groundnut. Farmers have adequate food crops, hence, Makar Sankranti is celebrated with the kharif crops.
Why to celebrate Makar Sankranti?
Makar Sankranti is considered a festival of happiness and prosperity. In different parts of the country, it is celebrated by different names. Let’s have a look:
Different names of Makar Sankranti in India
- Makar Sankranti (Sankranti): Chhattisgarh, Goa, Odisha, Haryana, Bihar, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Gujarat and Jammu
- Tai Pongal, Ujhwar Tirunal : Tamil Nadu
- Uttarayan: Gujarat, Uttarakhand
- Uttarain, Maaghi Sangrand : Jammu
- Shishur Sankrant: Kashmir Valley
- Maaghi: Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab
- Bhogali Bihu: Assam
- Khichdi: Uttar Pradesh and West Bihar
- Paush Sankranti: West Bengal
- Capricorn Transition: Karnataka
Sankranti is also celebrated outside India with various names
- Bangladesh: Shakrain/Paush Sankranti
- Nepal: Maagh Sankranti or ‘Maaghi Sankranti’ ‘Khichdi Sankranti’
- Thailand: Songkaran
- Laos: Pi Ma Lao
- Myanmar: Thian
- Cambodia: Moha Sangkran
- Sri Lanka: Pongal, Ujhwar Tirunal
Bhishma Pitamah chose this day
On Makar Sankranti, ghee and blankets are donated to attain salvation. In Mahabharat, Bhishma Pitamah left his body on Makar Sankranti. In the Bhagavad Gita, it is written that during Shukal Paksha of Uttaryan, if someone passes away, the person attains salvation.
Makar Sankranti story as per the Puranas
As per Shrimad Bhagavat and Devi Purana, Lord Shani had a strong feeling against his father. This was because the Sun God separated Shani because his mother, Chhaya, misbehaved with his other son Yamraj. As a result, Shani and Chhaya cursed him with leprosy.
Popular story around makar sankranti
It is believed that the practice of making khichdi on Makar Sankranti started from the time of Baba Gorakhnath. In the 13th century, when Khilji attacked, the Nath yogis did not get time to prepare food during the war and left for battle without eating. At that time, Baba Gorakhnath advised cooking dal, rice and vegetables together and it was ready in no time. It filled the stomach of the yogis and was nutritious too.
Baba Gorakhnath named this dish ‘Khichdi’. After winning over Khilji, the yogis celebrated Makar Sankranti and distributed khichdi on that day. Since then, the practice of making khichdi on Makar Sankranti started. On the occasion of Makar Sankranti, the Khichdi Fair is also organized at Baba Gorakhnath temple in Gorakhpur. Khichdi is offered to the idol of Baba Gorakhnath and is distributed as prasad among the people.
Makar Sankranti is related to the prosperity of farmers, thriving crops, wealth and cereals. Hearty congratulations to all the countrymen, farmers and all the people associated with agriculture from India’s No. 1 Agri Trading Company, Bijak and Charge ERP. If you want a solution to problems related to mandi business and mandi accounting, then ChargeERP is the solution.
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