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How to do Sankranti Puja? – Makar Sankranthi Pooja

Sankranthi, or Makar Sankranti, is an important harvest festival and it also marks the transition of the sun from Sagittarius to Capricorn (Makara Rasi). Sankranti also marks the beginning of Uttarayan – the daytime of Devas as per Hinduism and the next six months are considered highly auspicious. Six human months is considered the daytime of Devas. The main pujas and rituals on Sankranti are dedicated to Lord Surya. Here is a brief look at on how to do Sankranti Puja in the South Indian way.

Sankranti Puja
  • Cleaning of house.
  • Early morning oil bath.
  • Decoration of house with mango leaves, flowers and rangoli (kolams).
  • Arrange the Puja Room - if possible get an image or picture of God Surya.
For a simple Sankranti Puja, you can offer flowers and akshata to your favorite deity and prayer as you do normally. If you opt for a traditional puja -

Things needed for Makar Sankranti Pooja
  • Lamp
  • Coconut
  • Betel leaves
  • Betel nuts
  • Flowers
  • Water
  • Rice mixed with turmeric powder (akshata)
  • sesame seeds or til (ellu bella), sugarcane as naivedya (sesame seeds with jaggery)
  • All green produce that is available during the season is kept during puja. It symbolically suggests abundance and respect for nature - Mother who provides us food.
How to do the Sankranti Puja?
  • The puja is performed when the Sun enters Makara Rasi. Usually it is performed after sunrise. To get the exact time you can look into the Panchanga.
  • For Puja you can break a coconut and place it on a tray along with betel leaves and betel nuts.
  • Sprinkle some water on the tray.
  • Light the lamp. Usually a lamp with two wicks is lit on Makar Sankranti or two lamps. red color oil is preferred.
  • Red or orange color flowers should be offered.
  • Start you prayers by remembering Ganesha.
  • Next pray to your favorite deity or to Lord Surya.
  • If the prayer is to Surya, chant Gayatri Mantra or read Aditya Hridayam.
  • Place some flowers and rice mixed with turmeric powder before the idol of the deity in your puja room.
  • Place sesame sweets or til before the deity.
  • Do meditation or chant some simple prayers.
  • Distribute the naivedya.
Various types of Sankranti Dhanam are practiced by different communities. Newly married women give Dhanam to married women, married women give Dhanam to other married women, in some regions pumpkin or sugarcane is given as Dhanam. Donating til on the day is highly meritorious.

A special food usually involving different types of vegetable available during the season is prepared in many regions on the day.

There is a traditional lunch in the afternoon and in the evening families visit neighbors and relatives and exchange gifts and sweets made of til or sesame.

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