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
Some of the modern-day traditions of Hinduism include regular traditional prayer at home, personal traditions created by individual families, reading traditional literature and continuing to create traditional architectural buildings. One problem that Hindus have seen in the modern age, however, is that children are beginning to question many aspects of the faith.Full Answer >
According to researchers, the Hindu religion has been in practice since as early as 3000 B.C.; however, there is no consensus on an exact starting date. The religion's traditions began with the Indus valley civilization, in the region of present-day northwest India.Full Answer >
Hinduism originated in India more than 5,000 years ago. It likely came from the northern part of the country, where the Indus River is located. Persians in the area referred to it as the Hindu River, and the name was also applied to the religion.Full Answer >
The dietary restrictions of Hindus vary among practitioners: nearly all abstain from eating beef, and some follow a predominantly vegetarian diet, while others, such as Shaktas, consume meat, provided it comes from animals sacrificed in rituals. Among Hindus, Shaivites and Shaktas have the most lenient diets and may include meat products in their meals, while more conservative Hindu branches such as Vaishna abide by theological rules that dictate permissible and impermissible foods.Full Answer >