Remains from the Ramayan
July 4, 2020
Raksha Bandhan
April 15, 2023

Makar Sankranti is one of the most auspicious days for the Hindus, and is celebrated in almost all parts of the country in many cultural forms, with great devotion and joyfulness.

There are many meanings to this amazing day but let’s look at it from a practical and scientific view first. This day marks when the Sun begins its journey into the Northern Hemisphere. It is important to note the word Makar is Sanskrit for the zodiac sign Capricorn

There is a Sankranti every month when the sun passes from one sign of the zodiac to the next. There are twelve signs of the zodiac, and thus there are twelve Sankranti as well. Each of these sankranti has its own relative importance but two of these are more important Mesh (Aries) Sankranti and the most important, Makar (Capricorn) Sankranti. Transition of the Sun from Sagittarius to Capricorn, during the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere is known as Makar Sankranti.

The traditional Indian Calendar is based on lunar positions, but Sankranti is a solar event, so while dates of all festivals keep changing, the English calendar date of Makar Sankranti is always the same, 14th January. Makar Sankranti is celebrated in the Hindu Calendar month of Magha. There is another significance of this day, after this day the days start becoming longer & warmer, and thus the chill of winter is on decline.

There are many ways to celebrate this day from religious practices, spiritual sadhana and marking the start to prepare for a good agricultural year.

Makar Sankranti is marked by the following main religious events and symbolism:

  1. The Sun visits the house of his son Shani. This father and son relationship is not the best, but inspite of their differences the Sun makes it a point to meet his son on this day. The Sun comes to his son’s house, for a month. This day symbolizes the importance of a special relationship of father & son. It is the son who has the responsibility to carry forward his father’s dream and the continuity of the family.
  2. This day marks the day of the Devatas because the sun is now in Uttarayana (Headed North) Therefore many auspicious events happen during this time.
  3. Lord Vishnu ended the chaos of the Asuras by finishing them off and burying them under the Mandar Parvat(Mountain in India). So this occasion also represents the end of negativities and beginning of an era of righteous living
  4. Maharaj Bhagirath, did great Tapasya to bring the sacred river Ganga down on the earth for the redemption of his ancestors and letting their Atma’s(souls) find peace
  5. The great grandsire of Mahabharata fame, Bhishma, declared his intent to leave his mortal body on this day and it is viewed as a day that if one was to begin their journey to other realms would find success in doing so.

Jaya Sri Krishna

By the Hindu Professional Society of Canada(HPSC)