Makar Sankranti has special importance for every Hindu. This is the day when the Sun God begins its ascendancy and enters into the Northern Hemisphere. Like Greeks, Hindus too give great importance to the Sun God. Sun for the Hindus stands for Pratyaksha-Brahman – the manifest God, who symbolizes non-dual, self-effulgent and glorious divinity blessing one & all tirelessly. Gayatri mantra, which is from Rig-Veda, was specifically crafted for the worship of Sun God.
Sun transcends time and rotates the proverbial Wheel of Time. Hindus worship Sun God for intelligence & wisdom. Lord Krishna had described sun as the source of wisdom and intelligence and first disciple of his. Hinduism has been known for the association of cosmic events with human life and values and transforming them into some kind of religious ceremonies. Makar Sankranti is one of the similar associations of cosmic event with human life.
In Rajgir, people celebrate Makar Sankranti in the month of Paus which is January in Gregorian calendar. Devotees make flower offerings to the deities in the temples at Hot springs and bathe in the holy water. At Mandar hill in Banka district, the festival is celebrated with pomp and a huge fair is also held at the place. According to belief, the famous ‘Panchjanya’ sankh of Lord Krishna was found here. Traces, akin to serpent coil can be seen around the hill and it is believed that the snake god offered himself to be used as a rope for churning the ocean to obtain the nectar.
Makar Sankranti is one of the most auspicious days for the Hindus, and is celebrated in almost all parts of the country in myriad cultural forms, with great devotion, fervor & gaiety. Lakhs of people take a dip in places like Ganga Sagar and pray to Lord Sun. It is a day for which Bhishma Pitamah kept waiting to leave his mortal coil.