Makar Sankranti is also known as Uttarayan is a major festival celebrated in India and has a historical as well as religious significance. This article covers everything you need to know about the Makar Sankranti among kids including its story, and how it is celebrated across India.
What is Makar Sankranti?
Makar Sankranti is celebrated by Hindus every year in January. It marks the end of the winter season and the onset of the harvest season. This year, Makar Sankranti is celebrated on the 14th of January.
The festival is known by different names in different states and each state has its own tradition and festivities. While in parts of Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Goa it is referred to as Makar Sankranti, it also goes by the name ‘Pongal’ in Tamil Nadu, Pedda Panduga in Andhra Pradesh, ‘Magh Bihu’ in Assam, and so on.
But in general, Sankranti marks the termination of winter and the beginning of longer days due to the northward journey of the Sun, hence the name Uttarayan. This day is considered very auspicious. People usually on this day, take a dip in the sacred rivers or have a spiritual bath in order to wash away their sins and welcome the harvest season. It is also believed that people who die on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti are not reborn but go straight to paradise.
Activities during Makar Sankranti
Now that you know the history and significance of Sankranti, it is time to know what are the activities conducted on this auspicious day.
The festival no matter the state or tradition is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm. Loved ones get together to worship, and distribute ’til-gud’ sweets as this signifies peace and harmony together despite our differences.
Apart from this, we have a list of fun-filled activities that you could try with your family and welcome this harvest season with joy and laughter!
Host a kite flying competition
Kite flying usually happens in parts of Gujarat. But we know you can’t possibly go there (unless you plan to). But this doesn’t mean you don’t get to enjoy kites from your place. Get together with your family to create, fly and enjoy kite competitions!
Bonfires are fun and a great idea to get together with your loved ones. Add in some music, and dance and Sankranti will surely be an evening to remember.
Decorate your house with Rangoli
Rangoli is an integral part of the Hindu household. They are colorful, beautiful, and fun to make with your loved ones. Gather around your friends or siblings and decorate your house with beautiful rangolis during this festival.
During Sankranti, a lot of traditional melas or fairs are held at various places. Check out where such melas are being held in your city. Pay a visit with your family and enjoy the slice of rural India with music, dance, traditional foods, and games.
Teach your children about the significance of Sankranti
Talking to your kids about the significance of the festival will help them appreciate the traditions associated with it. When they know the significance and history behind this festival, they are sure to enjoy and await it every year.
What can children learn from Makar Sankranti?
Makar Sankranti marks the beginning of the harvest season which symbolizes abundance, joy and better opportunities. This is the time families and loved ones get together to celebrate and cherish each other. Children can learn that this festival is a way of people coming together with harmony and goodwill despite their differences and learning to enjoy good moments with each other.
We hope these activities help bring you and your loved ones together! We heartily wish you a very happy and prosperous Makar Sankranti.