• Dinesh Shahra

Happy Makar Sankranti

Makar Sankranti is a day that is celebrated all over India. Sankranti literally means "movement." so on Makar Sankranti, when the Sun enters the constellation of Makara, Capricorn. It is called by different names: Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Magh Bihu in Assam, Maghi (preceded by Lohri) in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, Makara Sankranti in Odisha, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, West Bengal, Sankranti in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, and so on. This is an expression of gratitude to Mother Earth for providing us grains and sustenance in the form of food, gratitude to the farm animals, especially the cow, which is worshipped on that day.

One may ask, why is an agrarian festival so important in today’s world? It is worth reminding ourselves that a society can survive without space technology, but no society can survive without agriculture. The production of food is important for the survival and thriving of our species, especially as humans we don’t eat wild plants and shrubs.

Typically, during Makar Sankranti, an offering is made of new vessels, clothing, food, sesame seeds, pot of sesame seeds, jaggery, a cow, a horse, gold or land depending on one’s capability. Instead of materialistic objects such as soap, plastic items, etc., gift items complementary to Spirituality, such as incense-sticks, ubtan (Herbal powder), Religious and Spiritual texts, pictures of Deities, CDs on spiritual topics, etc. should be gifted.

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