Lucknow, Prayagraj, January 15: The festival of Makar Sankranti (A harvest festival, falls on the equinox when day and night are believed to be equally long. It officially marks the beginning of spring or the onset of Indian summer and the days become longer, and nights shorter) is being celebrated with great fervour and enthusiasm by devotees and people on Wednesday in Uttar Pradesh.
On the Sangam Ghat in Prayagraj today, since the early morning devotees across the country have started reaching to take a holy dip of faith at the confluence of three pious rivers, Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. Whereas in Varanasi and other cities including Kanpur, people are taking a dip in the Ganga, Yamuna and other holy rivers as well as donating khichdi, rice and sesame to poor people.
On the occasion of Makar Sankranti, Khichdi banquet is also being organized in many cities including the capital Lucknow and Gorakhpur. The Chief Minister of the state Yogi Adityanath started the traditional Khichdi fair in the form of Gorakshpithadhishwar today by offering to Baba Gorakhnath in the morning.
In Prayagraj, since early today, devotees are taking a dip of faith in the holy confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati rivers. There, Paush Purnima i.e. Magh Mela is going on since January 10. Lakhs of devotees are performing Kalpavas ritual in the tent city temporarily set up in the Ganges ghats.
Makar Sankranti is considered as the second major bathing festival in this annual Magh Mela organized at the confluence of the Sangam city. On this occasion, devotees started to take a dip in the holy Sangam from Tuesday itself. The fair administration says that about 22 lakh devotees had taken bath in the Sangam yesterday also. The administration has estimated to bathe 80 lakh devotees by this evening on Makar Sankranti.
More than one and a half dozen bathing ghats have been built by the Mela administration for the convenience of bathing in the Magh Mela. The straw has been laid so that the ghats are not slippery. Strong security arrangements have also been made in the fair area.
According to the information received from the correspondents of Kanpur and Varanasi, devotees are taking bath in Ganga on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, despite the cold in both the cities. People are also donating khichdi, rice and sesame after the bath.
On the other hand, in Gorakhpur, the Chief Minister of the state and Gorakshpithadhishwar Yogi Adityanath started the fair today by offering ‘Khichdi’ to the Gorakhnath temple early morning.
Khichdi, which was sent by Nepal Kingdom was traditionally offered to Baba Gorakhnath soon after Yogi Adityanath had completed his ‘pooja’ and then the process of offering khichdi to the common man has commenced. Now people will be able to offer the Khichdi of faith to Baba Gorakhnath for a whole month. Today there will be a distribution of ‘khichdi’ as a prasad to the devotees and people coming to pay obesiance throughout the day.
After this, Chief Minister Yogi also wished the country and the people of Uttar Pradesh of Makar Sankranti. State Governor Anandiben Patel has also wished the people of Makar Sankranti.
According to astrologers, the festival of Makar Sankranti is on Jnauary 15 this year. Actually this festival used to fall on January 14 in the past, but almost every year since 2015, there is confusion about the date of this festival. The devotees are embroiled in the controversy between January 14 and 15. Scientists say that this situation will continue till 2030.
Jyotishacharya Dr. Omprakasacharya told that the sun entered Capricorn at 2.8 am after midnight of 14 January this year. In fact, when the Sun transits in Capricorn, it is called Makar Sankranti.
Dr. Omprakashacharya says that the day of Makar Sankranti is celebrated on the day before the Sun God enters Capricorn. Since this year coincided on January 15, this time the festival of Makar Sankranti is being celebrated on Wednesday on January 15 and will be auspicious for bathing, charity and other rituals throughout the day.
According to Jyotishacharya, the Sun becomes Uttarayan from Dakshinayan only on Makar Sankranti. At the same time, Karmas coming from a month ends when the Sun enters Capricorn. That is why from the day of Makar Sankranti, marriages and other manic works start.
He said that on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, there is a tradition of offering and donating Arghya to the Sun with a bath in rivers and ponds. The donation of jaggery, sesame and khichdi is of special importance on this festival. Makar Sankranti is also known as Khichdi in some areas of Uttar Pradesh and neighboring state of Bihar.