Reasons to Celebrate Makar Sankranti
Makar Sankranti is celebrated every year on the 14th January. Unlike other festivals, Makar Sankranti has a fixed date and never changes. It is celebrated all over India with different names in different regions. On this day you will see a sky full of colourful kites in different sizes and shapes. Everyone is full of excitement and start preparing for the festival several days before it arrives. Here are a few reasons that very well explain the significance of Makar Sankranti.
The Sun God Enters a Different Zodiac Sign
On Makar Sankranti, you will see that many people are going to lakes, rivers or some even travel to holy river Ganga to pray and take blessings from Sun God. It is believed that on this day the Sun God changes into different zodiac sign, i.e., Capricorn. Capricorn is zodiac sign of Saturn, who is the son of Sun God. According to Mythology, on this day the Sun God comes to his son's place to stay with him which signifies to forget all your past bitterness and start a new relation of love among each other.
The Beginning of the Harvest Season
Makar Sankranti marked as the first harvest of the year. It is known as Pongal in South India, Lohri in Punjab and Magh Bihu in Assam. There are big celebrations across these regions for three days. On the first day, they light the bonfire, burn all the useless items and cow dungs in it. They offer their prayers and dishes to bogh in honour of Indra known as god of rain to provide rain. On the second day, they exchange sweets with each other and on the last day is for cattle as they play a key role in harvesting.
Symbolic of Kindness and Compassion
Til gud is the main sweet dish made on Makar Sankranti. It is made of jaggery and sesame seeds which is also beneficial for your health. When people meet each other, they give til gud and say "तिळगुळ घ्या, आणि गोड-गोड बोला" (tilgula dhya, ani goda goda bola) which means take the sweet and utter sweet words. People forget all their all the enmity between each other and start the new relation and promises to remain friends. It also teaches us the importance of things surrounding us and we need to value it.
Celebrate Makar Sankranti Festival with 10 Festive Gifts
Makar Sankranti is a festival in which people forget all their enmity and start their relationship forgetting the bitterness and past. Even if there is no issue, they commit to staying friends forever and there is no better way to express it by giving gifts. Here is a list of gifts that you can gift to your dear and near one on this Makar Sankranti.
Hexagon Dry Fruit Basket
Dry fruit is always a healthy option to gift someone. Dry fruits can be gifted on almost all occasions since they add a festive mood to the menu. You can order your basket full of dry fruits on this Makar Sankranti to gift your dear and near ones from Infibeam for Rs. 349. It is a hexagon shape basket which contains 100 grams of almonds and kaju. The company delivers the product regularly.
Bonanza of Luck
Bamboo is considered one of the lucky plants to place at home and acts as a showpiece. You can gift this gift pack of lucky bamboo from fnp.com for Rs.999. This gift hamper is known as Bonanza of Luck and it comes with a 250 gm box ol milk sweets. It is believed that the more is the stalks in bamboo the more luck you receive. The product is the two-layer lucky bamboo. The height of the plant is up to 5 inches. It comes in a glass square vase of 3 x 3 x 3 inches which can be reused for other purposes as well. The origin of Lucky Bamboo is from the tropical rainforest of South East Asia and Africa.
Assorted Chikki Box with Small Kites
Chikki is the traditional sweet dish which can be gifted on any occasion. On Makar Sankranti, you will see the sky full of kites and chikkis in the menu. You cannot gift a real huge kite, but you can gift mini kites along with the chikki box which will make your gift unique and special. You can order the assorted chikki box with small kites for Rs.750 from Gift Across India. The gift has 3 mini kites of about 3 inches each and a box containing 500 grams of chikki.
Love for Chocolates
Chocolates are always better choice to gift if you are not able to settle down with any gift product or if you know that the person loves chocolates this gift will not fail. You can order this box of Choco Bites chocolate from fnp.com. The price of this chocolate box is Rs. 679 and it weighs 250 grams. Once you receive the box, you need to store in the fridge for better preservation and do not forget to check the expiry date.
Gur-Gazak and Chocolate
Gajak is a North Indian delicacy made on Lohri. Since Lohri and Makar Sankranti arrives on the same day, you can gift gur gazak to your near, and dear ones with a combination of chocolates treat to make their day special. This sweet is made of jaggery which is beneficial to your health. It also keeps your body fit as it boosts your immunity and detoxifies the body. It is rich in iron so help to prevent anaemia.
During Makar Sankranti, jaggery helps a lot to fight from winter chills as it generates heat inside the body. Jaggery dilates your blood vessels which get constricted in the winter season and improves blood flow. You can order a pack of gur gazak from India Gifts Mall for Rs. 301. The hamper contains 250 grams of gur gazak, a Cadbury Dairy Milk 5-Star chocolate bar, and a Cadbury Dairy Milk Wowie chocolate. In addition, they also add a greeting card to your hamper. The gift is nicely packed and will be delivered in 2-3 days.
Premium-Quality German Silver Haldi Kumkum Holder
On the day of Makar Sankranti, married women organise a haldi kumkum program at their place. When women apply haldi kumkum on a married woman, it signifies that the qualities of Goddess Durga gets inculcated in her and she blesses them for a beautiful journey as a married woman. If you are gifting any married women or your wife on Makar Sankranti, there can be no better choice than gifting her a haldi kumkum holder, like this one made of German silver by Indishopy. You can order premium quality German silver haldi kumkum holder from Amazon for Rs. 99. The product is economical and looks beautiful. In this holder, you can easily place diya, flowers, haldi, kumkum, akshata and rakhi as well.
Adorn World Handcrafted Kumkum Box
On the day of Makar Sankranti, married women during holy dip ask for blessings from the sun god for the longevity of their husband's life. You can make your wife feel special on this day as this does a lot for you. You can gift her beautiful handcrafted sindoor dibbi from Amazon for Rs.349. The Adorn World Beautiful Handcrafted Kumkum Box is made of metal and measures 3” x 3” x 2” inches dimension. The box is fully decorated with pearls.
Ghasitaram Gifts: Lohri Sweets - Til Laddoo and Gajak Hamper
Sweets made and distributed during this festival are predominantly made of sesame and jaggery, such as til laddoos and gajak. Til laddoo is not only a treat for the mouth but also helps you to keep your body fit. It is good for your skin and hair as it has Vitamin B in it which is important for our body parts. It has minerals like copper and magnesium which are good for people who have arthritis and respiratory problems. Eating sesame laddoos in the winter season that is precisely when Makar Sankranti is celebrated builds heat in your body to keep your body resistant to winter chills.
You can gift a box of til laddoo and gajak from Ghasitaram. Ghasitaram is one of the well-known sweet companies in the market. You can order a box of Ghasitaram Sweets of Til Laddoo and Gajak for Rs.499 from Amazon. The ingredients used for making the dish is entirely vegetarian. The weight of the box is 399 grams. There are no preservatives added and has very less sugar.
Different Ways to Celebrate Makar Sankranti
Makar Sankranti is celebrated across Indian with a different name, and so it is observed in different ways in different regions. There are many ways to celebrate Makar Sankranti other than exchanging gifts and flying kites. Read below to find out how.
A Holy Dip
Taking holy dips in a water body is one of the common rituals in India during Makar Sankranti. Many devotees from different states and neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh head over to River Ganga and Bay of Bengal to take a holy dip. Devotees start arriving the river early morning to take a dip in the holy river of Ganga which flows into the Bay of Bengal. People sit there for longer time chanting prayers and blessing for peace and prosperity from the sun god.
Visit Fairs That Typically Set Up During Festivals
Fairs are organised across the country on the occasion of Makar Sankranti. One of the famous fairs is Kumbh Mela. There are many fairs near the Ganga River and the Bay of Bengal as well. There are several types of products to buy including clothes, jewellery, footwear and accessories. The fairs also have a section where you can find food corner of different states as well as different countries like Chinese, Italian and so on.
Make Offerings to the Needy
You can make as many offerings you want on the day of Makar Sankranti. The period from 14th January to 6th February is called the Transition Period. The offering done within this period will bring all your wishes to come true. One can donate any item like clothes, food, personal items, sweets, etc. It is believed that if one chants the names of gods while making the donation, one will receive much happiness in life.
Organise a Terrace Party
Festivals are not only meant for rituals, but they are also an opportunity to plan a get together with your friends, family and relatives whom you may not see often otherwise. You can organise a party on your terrace to celebrate the day. A terrace is a spacious place, and you can invite as many friends you want and keep some buffet party, so everyone can enjoy themselves. Celebrating festivals with your friends or family members is rare as everyone is busy in their work and barely ever have time to hang out. So, the best option is to organise a party or get-together where people can catch up with each other, relax and have a good time.
Traditional ways can be very comforting
Gifting is becoming more nuanced with time and in a quest to find the most unique and creative things we can give as presents, the traditional ones sometimes take a backseat. The old is not always outdated, especially not when you dig into the deeper meanings that gave rise to them in the first place. Many customs continue to have a role in the modern world, so even as you search for new ideas, don't completely abandon the old ones.