New Delhi: Over 15 lakh devotees across the country and abroad took a holy dip in the sacred Ganga river on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, at Gangasagar in West Bengal. Despite the chilly weather, devotees from across the country and neighbouring nations including Nepal and Bangladesh came to take the holy bath.
The devotees believe that a dip in the sacred river during the Makar Sankranti washes off their sins.
Sagar Island, about 150 km from Kolkata in the South 24 Parganas district, witnessed a massive congregation of people this year. Devotees offered coconuts the famous Kapil Muni temple.
Reportedly over 15 lakh pilgrims took a holy dip here.
Besides floodlights at the ghats, at least, 140 CCTVs and watch towers were set up in and around the Kapil Muni temple to ensure smooth observance of the rituals.
Extra contingent of the police force was deployed to contain any unforeseen circumstances. National Disaster Response Force and Coast Guard were also kept on high alert.
In addition to the stringent security measure, three drones were deployed for air surveillance.
The West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation added extra fleets of barge for smooth transportation of the devotees. Additional trans were also provided for the occasion. (IANS)(Picture courtesy: blogspot.com)
Makar Sankranti is a Hindu Festival observed every year in the month of January
The festival embarks the end of Winter Season and the arrival of Summer Season
Sankranti is a festival of joy and is celebrated with great jest throughout India
Makar Sankranti is one of the most celebrated festivals of India. It is full of colour, jest and joy. This festival is celebrated every year in the month of January. Makar Sankranti 2018 was a huge success, and now it is hard to wait for the Makar Sankranti 2019 which will be on 15th January, next year.
However, before getting all excited about this fun-filled festival. It is important to know about it. Here is all you need to know about the Makar Sankranti Festival.
What is Makar Sankranti and why is it celebrated?
Makar Sankranti is a Hindu festival which almost always arrives on 14th January of every year. The festival is famous for joyous activities like kite flying, bonfires, fairs and feats.
Hindus in different parts of India celebrate this festival in different forms. In north India, Sikhs celebrate it as Lohri. In Assam, it is observed as Magh Bihu, while in Tamil Nadu, it is celebrated as Pongal and as Uttarayan in Gujarat.
The Makar Sankranti festival is dedicated to the Hindu sun deity, Surya, and is celebrated on the occasion of it entering the zodiac sign, Makara (Capricorn). This denotes the arrival of longer days, i.e. the season of summer.
Along with marking the end of Winter season, Makar Sankranti also denotes the beginning of new harvest season.
How is Makar Sankranti Celebrated?
On the day of Makar Sankranti, many people take dips in the holy rivers gaga and Yamuna as it is considered really auspicious and it is believed that one can absolve their sins that way.
People prepare delicacies like Halwa and sesame-seed laddus on this occasion. Bonfires are burnt and people celebrate by dancing around it. Kite flying is also one of the most important activities which are undertaken to celebrate the festival of Sankranti, especially in Gujarat.
One of the most fun parts of the Sankranti Festival is the organisation of various fairs. Fairs like Kumbh Mela, Gangasagar Mela and Makara Mela are some of the most famous fairs which are organised during this Indian festival.
Makara Sankranti is a wonderful festival which is a great way for people to socialise and celebrate together.