Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Makar Sankranti on January 14 or 15

Makar Sankranti Deity Surya Dev

Makar Sankranti on January 14 or 15?

There has been a lot of confusion about the date of Makar Sankranti festival over the years. Some astrologers suggest it to be 14 January and others 15 January. So, let’s look into the answer to this question in detail. First, it must be clear to everyone that Indian festivals are calculated as per the lunar calculations. So their dates in Gregorian calendar vary. Second, the time period between sunrise and sunset is also considered for the observance of any particular festival. Makar Sankranti occurs when Sun begins its transit in Makar Rashi.

The Makar Sankranti Moment for 2020 will be - 02:22 AM, 15 January

The time between Makar Sankranti and 40 Ghatis (roughly 16 hours for Indian locations if we consider 1 Ghati duration as 24 minutes) from the time of Makar Sankranti is considered good for auspicious work. This duration of forty Ghatis is known as Punya Kaal. Sankranti activities, like taking bath, offering Naivedhya (food offered to deity) to Lord Surya, offering charity or Dakshina, performing Shraddha rituals and breaking fast or Parana, should be done during Punya Kaal.

If Makar Sankranti happens after Sunset then all Punya Kaal activities are postponed till next day Sunrise. Hence all Punya Kaal activities should be done in day time.

Drik Panchang suggests Sankranti Muhurta which falls between Makar Sankranti moment and 40 Ghatis from it. We list this time as Punya Kaal Muhurta. Our holy scriptures suggest that 5 Ghatis duration after Sunrise (if Sankranti happens after Sunset on the previous day) and 1 Ghati duration after Sankranti moment (if Sankranti happens in day time) are highly auspicious. If this Muhurta is available we list it as Mahapunya Kaal Muhurta. Mahapunya Kaal Muhurta, if available, should be preferred over Punya Kaal Muhurta.

Hence, this year Makar Sankranti is going to be celebrated on 15 January.

Makar Sankranti Festival in Mathura

Gajak, a delicacy made from jaggery and sesame seeds especially eaten and donated on Makar Sankranti  

In Mathura, devotees will take the holy dip in the River Yamuna early morning on Makar Sankranti, which will be celebrated on 15 January this year. Charity and donation of sesame seeds and Khichdi hold high significance on Makar Sankranti. It is believed that donations made on this day will increase the Punya multiple times. Devotees will begin to flock the temples of Dwarikadhish, Krishna Janmabhumi, Dhirgh Vishnu Mandir in Mathura; Banke Bihari Ji, Radha Raman, Gopinath temple, Radhavallabha temple, Prem Mandir, ISKCON in Vrindavan; Ladali Ji temple in Barsana; Nanda Mahal in Nandagaon; Daan Ghati, Manasi Ganga, Mukut Mukharvinda in Govardhan early morning for Darshan and making donations of jaggery, sesame and Khichdi on this auspicious festival of Makar Sankranti. Special Bhog of Khichdi will be offered in temples across Mathura and Vrindavan. Pandit Ajay Kumar Tailang shared that offering Arghya to Sun and donating to poor and needy people on Makar Sankranti is considered highly auspicious. Also, Malmaas ends on Makar Sankranti and auspicious ceremonies like weddings, Mundan, Grah Pravesh, Yagyopavit will start again after the one-month hiatus.  

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