Devotee celebrate ”Makar Sankranti” with a holy dip in Ganges

January 14th, 2009 - 4:20 pm ICT by ANI  

Varanasi/Tatapani (Himachal Pradesh), Jan 14 (ANI): Devotees thronged Varanasi to take a holy dip in the river Ganges on the occasion of ”Makar Sankranti” on Wednesday.
Braving the winter chill, the devotees took an early morning dip in the Ganges and also made offerings to the priests.
“We take bath in the river and make offerings of rice, jaggery to a priest,” said Shakuntala, a devotee.
As per Hindu astrology, transition of the Sun from Sagittarius to Capricorn zodiac during the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere is known as ”Makar Sankranti”. From this day, begins the six-month long ”Uttarayana”, the Sun’’s journey in the northern hemisphere.
While the traditional Hindu calendar is basically based on lunar positions, but ”Makar Sankranti” is a solar event taking place every year on January 14.
It is also believed that a holy dip during Makar Sankranti washes away all sins.
“Today the sun enters into northern hemisphere from the southern hemisphere. Therefore the day is of great significance. Today, the devotees take holy dip and make offerings to the priests,” said Bharat Pandey, a priest.
In Himachal Pradesh, scores of devotees gathered at Tatapani hot water spring and took a holy dip.
Apart from curing skin diseases, the dip in the spring is also believed to be auspicious by the devotees.
The devotees also make ”Tula Daan”, a tradition where the devotees make offerings of cereal to the priests equal to an individuals” weight.
“The offerings made here on Makar Sankranti hold great significance. It is said that one should come and make offerings here for ridding one of all negative elements,” said Kamini, a devotee.
The co-relation of cosmic events with a person’’s life is an important aspect of Hindu astrological system.
The entry of sun into northern hemisphere on Makar Sankranti is considered very auspicious by the Hindus for attaining higher worlds hereafter. (ANI)

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