Makar Sankranti is the main festival of Hindus, which is celebrated on the 14th or 15th of the month of January. This festival is celebrated throughout India. In Tamil Nadu, it is celebrated as Pongal whereas, in Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, it is called ‘Sankranthi’ only. In Push Month, when the Sun comes on Capricorn, this festival is celebrated. Makar Sankranti is a festival of when the people worship the Lord sun, which turns our temporal life into the life of God. This festival makes us conscious, awake, alive and active by filling the auspiciousness in our life.
Significantly, the only sun is such a direct god, that by continuous action give life on the earth. That is why our ancestors have called the Sun as ‘Virat Purusha’. Allama Iqbal has done a great translation of Gayatri Mantra in Urdu as the praise of ‘Aftab (Sun)’. On this day, chanting, charity, bathing, and Tarpan etc. all religious activities have particular importance. The assumption is that the donation given on this day increases the Saintly of everyone more than hundred times.
On this day, if people donate pure ghee and blanket they will get salvation. On the occasion of Makar Sankranti if people donate the things on the bank of Ganga river and take bath in Ganga, has been highly regarded as auspicious. On this festival, bath in the Tirtharaj Prayag and Gangasagar has been called the Mahasanan. Normally the sun affects all the zodiac signs, but the entry of the sun in Cancer and Capricorn is very fruitful. This entry or transition action occurs at intervals of six to six months.
During the Mahabharata, Bhishm Pitamah, grandfather of Pandavas, had selected the day of Makar Sankranti to renounce his body. On the day of Makar Sankranti, Gangaji went behind Bhagiratha and went to the sea through Kapil Muni’s ashram. Therefore the tradition of contemplation is going on for centuries.