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Makar Sankranti 2024: Marking Sun's Sojourn with Khichdi Tradition

Makar Sankranti not only marks a celestial transition but also elevates the significance of Khichdi, aptly earning it the title of the Khichdi festival. Beyond its culinary appeal, Khichdi's ingredients are intricately connected to celestial entities

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By Prerit Chauhan
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Makar Sankranti, a festivity that sweeps across the nation, holds paramount significance in the cultural tapestry of India. Marking a pivotal occasion following the advent of the new year, this celebration stands out for its connection to Hinduism, symbolizing the end of the inauspicious Kharmas period and heralding a phase of auspicious activities.

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The crux of Makar Sankranti lies in the Sun's journey from the Sagittarius zodiac to the Capricorn zodiac, hence earning its distinctive name. Recognized by various regional names such as Sankranti, Pongal, Maghi, Uttarayan, Uttarayani, and Khichdi Parva, this festival is a rich amalgamation of diverse traditions.

On this auspicious day, people engage in sacred river baths, acts of charity, and fervent worship. A customary practice during Makar Sankranti involves the preparation, consumption, and donation of Khichdia delectable dish made from rice and lentils.

The specific date of Makar Sankranti varies annually, causing occasional confusion. According to the Panchang, the 2024 Makar Sankranti is slated for Monday, January 15, 2024.

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The Khichdi Festival: Culinary Tradition with Celestial Significance

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Makar Sankranti not only marks a celestial transition but also elevates the significance of Khichdi, aptly earning it the title of the Khichdi festival. Beyond its culinary appeal, Khichdi's ingredients are intricately connected to celestial entities, making it a revered dish during this festive season.

Traditionally, the combination of lentils, rice, ghee, turmeric, spices, and green vegetables in Khichdi is believed to correspond to the influence of the nine planets. Consuming Khichdi on Makar Sankranti is thought to bring about favorable outcomes, with each element in the dish associated with celestial bodies.

Rice symbolizes the Moon, salt corresponds to Venus, turmeric is linked with Jupiter, green vegetables align with Mercury, and the warmth of Khichdi signifies Mars. Additionally, the inclusion of black gram dal and sesame seeds in the Makar Sankranti Khichdi is believed to invoke blessings from the Sun God and Lord Saturn.

The Ancient Origins of Khichdi Tradition: A Tale of Ingenuity and Sustenance

The roots of the Khichdi tradition on Makar Sankranti stretch back to ancient times, with a legend recounting the ingenious response of Baba Gorakhnath to a challenging situation. During a conflict between Baba Gorakhnath and Alauddin Khilji and his army, yogis faced difficulties in preparing elaborate meals due to the ongoing warfare, leading to a gradual decline in their physical strength.

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