Why do we celebrate Makar Sankranti 2021 on 14th Jan? Why did Bhishma waited for Uttarayan?
New Delhi, Jan 11: Makar Sankranti 2021 is a Hindu festival that is celebrated on January 14, 2021. It is one of India's most popular harvest festivals. Makar (Capricorn) is a Hindu zodiac sign and Sankranti means to change direction.
This day, also known as Maghi, is a major harvest festival and is dedicated to the sun god Surya, it also marks the first day of the sun's transit into Makara (Capricorn) raashi (zodiac sign) and is observed in the month of January.
History of Makar Sankranti:
According to Hindu religious texts, on the day of Uttarayani the sun enters the zodiac sign of Makara (Capricorn), i.e., from this day onwards the sun becomes 'Uttarayan' or it starts moving to the north. It is said that from this day, which signals a change of season, the migratory birds start returning to the hills.
The festival has different names in different states, even though it is celebrated on the same day. It is referred to as Pedda Panduga in Andhra Pradesh, Makar Sankranti in Karnataka, Magh Bihu in Assam, Magha Mela in parts of central and north India and Pongal in Tamil Nadu.
Why did Bhishma waited for Uttarayan?
It is believed that the Gods arise from a slumber of six months on the day of Makar Sankranti and so, a soul that passes away on the day or during Uttarayan, attains salvation. In Mahabharat, Bhisma, while lying on the bed of arrows prepared by Arjun, waited until the dawn of Makar Sankranti to finally take his last breath.
He did wait for about 58 nights for the winter solstice or first day of Uttarayana to give up his body on the arrow bed. Mahabharata states that he attained salvation after his death.