Makar Sankrati is a Hindu holiday celebrating the sun god's ascendancy into the northern hemisphere. Unlike other holidays, Makar Sankrati is celebrated on the same day every year because it follows the solar calendar. Another name for the holiday is Uttarayan, which refers specifically to the day the sun begins its journey. Although it is celebrated throughout the country, specific traditions and rituals vary based on region.Know More
The name "Makar Sankrati" refers to the sun's transition from Sagittarius to Capricorn. Uttarayan can also refer to the six-month journey of the sun's passage, which is a period that is also considered auspicious for anyone seeking to transcend the physical world. After Makar Sankrati, the days start becoming longer and warmer, marking the end of winter.
Makar Sankrati is also known as the festival of thanksgiving and is somewhat comparable to the western New Year's Day, when people resolve to start anew and move on from past failures. People appreciate each other and pay homage to the sun god, who generously gives life without accepting reward.
Makar Sankrati holds significant religious importance. In Indian mythology, the hero Maharaj Bhagirath managed to liberate and redeem the 60,000 sons of Maharaj Sagar on this day.Learn more about Hinduism
There are several Hindu creation stories found in the Hindu scriptures. One story tells of the universe being created from the sound Aum. According to the BBC, the Chandogya Upanishad, a sacred Hindu text, describes creation as the breaking of an egg. This text also claims that in the beginning, Brahman, the supreme reality, created the entire universe through heaven, the earth, the atmosphere and the three seasons.Full Answer >
The followers of Hinduism are referred to as Hindus. According to the Constitution of India, the term Hindu refers to anyone who follows any Indian religion, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism or Jainism.Full Answer >
Hindus worship by venerating religious icons and images called "murtis," and by reciting prayers called "mantras." Hindu worship is simply called "puja," which literally means "honor."Full Answer >
There are a number of stories about how Ganesh (or Ganesha) ended up with the head of an elephant, although most involve him getting decapitated. The most well-known story comes from the Shiva Purana.Full Answer >