Makar Sankranti Festival & Significance

Makar Sankranti Festival & Significance

Makar Sankranti is a festival which is celebrated in January second week in the Asian subcontinent. The festival is an occasion to do charity donations and other pious deeds. Let us learn about the importance and significance of this day.

Makar Sankranti: The Solar Festival

Most of the festivals of India are in tune with the lunar calendar which makes their date varied as per the western (Gregorian) calendar. Yet makar sankranti is an exception as it falls on the day when the sun enters the zodiac sign of Capricorn. This is also known as makar in the local language Hindi, hence the name of the festival known as makar sankranti.

Along with other things one important aspect of this is of giving charity and donation on this day. Of course there is no day or time for helping anyone, still the seers thought it would be appropriate to set aside some time when the focus on these activities is more. This is also very important from the modern perspective when generally people are having more material possessions but are more self centered, generally speaking.

Importance of Charity Donations or Dan Punya

The law of karma is a universally accepted principle and most of us would have experienced by logic or otherwise that the actions bring forth relevant fruits which is pretty natural too.

Charity Donation Benefits

Charity Donation Benefits

Hence it is only to help our own self that it is important to perform the deeds of giving to the needy and the less privileged. Of course this can be done anytime, still it is at least better to do some times if one cannot do regularly, hence the reason for setting aside such occasions.

The following figure beautifully depicts the process of upliftment of both the giver and the recipient of charity and donation. The figure is self explanatory and basically it means to show by the range of processes that if the charity and donation is right with the right attitude, it leads to the upliftment of both sides.

Of course there is no giver or no recipient but only the circumstances might be such that currently one person might be more privileged than the other, who may need help. Hence this is the best way of doing it without showing any pity.

Of course makar sankranti is not only about charity donations but also different regions have their own specific ways of celebrating it too. We will not be going into those details here and will keep it for later.

Makar Sankranti Dates 2016

As stated previously, due to the alignment of this festival with the solar movement, the date of this festival is nearly fixed at 14th January each year. It is only once it about 80 years that the date has to be either preponed to 13 January or postponed to 15 January to adjust for some solar variations.

In 2016 this occurs very much on 14th January 2016 itself.

Editor’s Note

Apart from the thoughts expressed by the author from the traditional perspective, the editor would like to add that the basic concept of giving or doing charity and donation has been beautifully embodied in the form of this festival by the ancient sages.

This is very important in today’s society when there is so much of need and people are becoming insensitive in the cut throat competition, the main attitude is about taking, receiving and not giving. Even many people who give is mainly for exhibition purposes.

So if you want to truly enjoy this festival give to the genuine and the needy and even if you do not tell anyone, He who sees it all will surely notice it. It will add to your karmic account and you will certainly benefit from it whenever you need it in your bad times. This basically is nothing but an extension or the corollary of the law of karma and can be used to change our lives for the better

Image Courtesy (Charity Donation Benefits): Ms Priyanka Lotlikar

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