15th January 2019 is Makara Sankaranthi. The Sun enters Makara around 19.57 pm on 14th January 2019 as per Trikanitha.
We can celebrate Pongal / Makara Sankaranthi 6 hrs before this transit and up to 12 hours later. Therefore, All are advised to keep Pongal Pannai (Vessel) on the Stove or oven before 9 am (Preferably 7. 19 to 8.30 am) on 15th January. Also Tharpanam is a must for eligible persons.
Recitation of Gayathri mantra, Aditya Hridayam and Sri Vishnu Sahasranama give great benefits.
About Makar Sankaranthi:
Makar Sankranti is one of the most auspicious day for the Hindus, and is celebrated in almost all parts of the country in innumerable cultural forms, with great devotion, fervour & gaiety.
Makar Sankranti is the day when the glorious Surya Bhagawan of Hindus begins its ascendancy and entry into the Northern Hemisphere.
Sun for the Hindus stands for Pratyaksha-Brahman – the manifest God, who symbolizes, the one, non-dual, self-effulgent, glorious divinity blessing one & all untiringly.
Sun is the one who transcends time and also the one who rotates the proverbial Wheel of Time. The famous Gayatri Mantra, which is chanted everyday by every faithful Hindu, is directed to Sun God to bless them with intelligence & wisdom. Sun not only represents God but also stands for an embodiment of knowledge & wisdom.
Lord Krishna reveals in Gita that this manifested divinity was his first disciple, and we all know it to be indeed a worthy one too.
Makara is Capricorn and Sankranti is transition.
There is a sankranti every month when the sun passes from one sign of the zodiac to the next.
There are twelve signs of the zodiac, and thus there are twelve sankranti’s as well. Each of these sankranti’s has its own relative importance but two of these are more important – the Mesh (Aries) Sankranti and the most important, the Makar (Capricorn) Sankranti.
Transition of the Sun from Sagittarius to Capricorn, during the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere is known as Makar Sankranti. From this day begins the six-month long Uttarayana, considered very auspicious for attaining higher worlds hereafter.
The Capricorn sign is ruled by Shani Bhagawan, who is the son of Sun God.
Both are bitter enemies in Vedic Astrology. Sun meets his Son who is his enemy in his house first day of Uttarayana to forget all past and hostility and to be friendly with his Son, Therefore Thai month is considered very auspicious to forget the past and promote good. (In Tamil also we say, Thai Piranthal Vazhi Pirakkum”)
Religious Significance from Scriptures:
The Puranas say that on this day Sun visits the house of his son Shani, who is the Lord of Makar Rashi.
These father & son do not ordinarily get along nicely, but inspite of any difference between each other Lord Sun makes it a point to meet each other on this day.
Father in fact himself comes to his son’s house, for a month. This day symbolized the importance of special relationship of father & son.
It is the son who has the responsibility to carry forward his fathers dream and the continuity of the family.
From Uttarayana starts the ‘day’ of Devatas, while dakshinayana is said to be the ‘night’ of devatas, so most of the auspicious things are done during this time. Uttarayana is also called as Devayana, and the next half is called Pitrayana.
Makar Sankranti, a Hindu festival that marks the end of the month with the winter solstice and beginning of longer days, is a day dedicated to Lord Surya and devotees mark this day by taking a holy dip in river Ganges.
According to the Hindu calendar, this day is also celebrated as the harvest festival and marks the arrival of spring. The day is synonymous to kite flying too. People across India are seen on their roof tops and sky fills up with colourful kites.
Makar Sankranti, an Indian solar festival, is known by different names though observed on the same date. It is known as Pedda Panduga in Andhra Pradesh, Makar Sankranti in Karnataka, Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Magh Bihu in Assam, Magha Mela in parts of central and north India. A day before Makar Sankranti is Lohri, the Punjabi harvest festival.
A shared cultural practice is making sweets bound from sesame and jaggery. This type of sweet is a symbolism for being together in peace and joyfulness, despite the uniqueness and differences between people.
May we all pray to the Almighty Sri Surya Bhagawan mindfully on this Makara Sankaranthi day and receive His choicest Blessings bountifully for our material and spiritual prosperity and all abundant auspiciousness…..🙏🙏🙏