Makar Sankranti Snan during Haridwar Kumbh Mela 2010

Makar Sankranti which falls on January 14, 2010 is the first important bathing date during the Kumbh Mela 2010 in Haridwar. According to the Vedic solar calendar, the period Mid January when Kumbha Mela usually begins is astrologically very special and auspicious as the sun passes through the winter solstice, from the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn. The sun enters Makara Rashi or Capricorn Zodiac. This astrological change is called Makara Sankramana or Makar Sankranti, which means transition – this transition of great significance as the change is in a positive direction. The days gets brighter and brighter from Makar Sankranti and it signifies a fresh start after winter.

Sun or Surya has been worshipped in Hinduism from time immemorial and is known as Pratyaksha Brahman or the Visible God. One of the most popular and most widely chanted Hindu mantra is the Gayatari mantra and this is dedicated to God Surya. Along with Sun, rivers too were worshipped by Hindus. The worship of Sun and Rivers started after the realization that life exists because of light and water.

There is a popular belief that during Haridwar Kumbh Mela the bath on the holy day of Makar Sankranti cleanses the sins of a devotee and prepares him for Moksha. Another popular belief is that the water of Ganga has special healing powers during the period due to the unique alignment of Sun, Moon and Jupiter.

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