Makar Sankranti also known as Makara Sankranti is celebrated as an important festival of India. The festival has its origins in the movements of the sun and the winter solstice. According to astrology, this is the time of the zodiac sign of Capricorn or Makara – from which the festival derives its name. The day also marks the end of the winter and is therefore associated with new beginnings.
Makar Sankranti or Sankranti, is a festival of celestial significance. The festival is celebrated differently in different states. Though the preparation for the pooja starts from the morning itself, where people clean their houses and take early morning oil bath. Then people decorate their houses and arrange the Puja Room. If possible, you may place an image or picture of God Surya on a high platform. Now, how the pooja is performed? Have a look at the following vidhi/method of performing the Puja:
Step 1) For Baayna, place two ghevars in one thaali, along with four black til ladoos and white til ladoos each. Keep some money as well.
Step 2) Spinkle roli and chawal on the baayna.
Step 3) Now apply tilak to yourself.
Step 4) Cover your folded hands with saree pallu or odni or dupatta and rotate them over the baayna four times.
Step 5) Then you may give the baayna to your mother-in-law by touching her feet. Baayna could also be given to elder sister-in-law, nanad (husband’s sister) or any woman elder to you. If you are alone in the house, you can keep the baayna in the puja room and later either give it to a Brahmin or it can be sent to the temple.
Another interesting aspect of this festival is that on this day Brahmins are invited for a meal and any 14 articles like blankets, torches, fans, utensils and even thermos flasks are given to 14 brahmins. For this, you need to keep the 14 articles with some token money. Then sprinkle oil, chawal and give it to the Brahmins.
Makar Sankranti is essentially a very family festival which is observed with utmost sincerity. With this, wishing all a very Happy Sankranti and hoping a year of good health and prosperity.