January – Do you know how important this date is!? All throughout the country, various states believe this day to be very auspicious, and celebrate it in their own different ways. The main reason for Hindus to have faith in this day is because it marks the beginning of the journey of Lord Surya (Sun God) towards the Northern Hemisphere. As per Hindu mythology, it is only on this day that Lord Surya visits his son Shani Dev for a month. Normally, this father-son duo does not get along well. Therefore, this day also symbolizes a special relationship between father and son.
This is the time of the year when any auspicious work can be started as it symbolizes the beginning of righteousness and the end of negativity. This belief is related with the conviction that it is on this day that Lord Vishnu killed the Asuras and ended their ever increasing terrorism.
Another belief associated with this day is that Bhishma (in Mahabharata) had a boon from his father for Ichha-Mrityu, meaning death on one’s own wish. So, Bhishma kept lying on a bed made of arrows, and on this day he started his journey to Heaven. Thus, it is believed that if someone dies on this day, he is freed from reincarnation.
With so many Hindu beliefs associated with this date, the 14th
of January every year is celebrated throughout the country in different ways.
Known as ‘Makar Sankranti’, people in Gujarat are seen to be celebrating this festive day with great enthusiasm and fun by flying kites. Also, there is a custom followed wherein the adult member of the family gifts the younger members. Additionally, Gujarati Pandits grant scholarships to the students of astrology and philosophy for higher education on this day. Therefore, this festival signifies strong relationships between family, caste and community in Gujarat.
The people of Maharashtra exchange til-laddus and tilguls made of sesame seeds and sugar/jaggery. This practice is followed with the underlying thought to forget past ill-feelings and conflicts between people, and to take a pledge to instill sweetness in relationships in the future.
Tamil Nadu celebrates this day as ‘Pongal’ which is considered as the most significant festival of the state, especially for the farmers. The people here worship their main deity and offer special food prepared from rice and pulses cooked together in ghee and milk. The Sun God is highly worshipped on this day by the people in South India.
In Andhra Pradesh, this is a four day festival known as ‘Pedda Panduga’. The first day is celebrated as Bhogi, second day as Sankranti, third day as Kanuma, and fourth day as Mukkanuma. All these four day celebrations signify the time to discard the old and welcome the new, thus bringing in more light and sunshine in life.
Known as ‘Khichiri’ in Uttar Pradesh, it is regarded as the most auspicious day to take a dip in the holy waters of River Ganga. The Magh Mela held at Pragya (Allahabad) for a period of one month inaugurates on this day.
The Keralites dedicate this day to Lord Ayyappa as the Anushthana that is performed by the devotees for 40 days ends on this day. This day is celebrated with great enthusiasm at the Sabarimala Temple.
Now, you understand the importance and significance of this day. So, for any new beginning, mark this day on the calendar. And for any kind of Puja that you want to perform on this day, you can rely upon MakeMyPuja to provide you with the most professional Pandits to help you do the Puja with the correct rituals and ceremonies.