Kumbha Sankranti is a Hindu festival observed on the day when the Sun is in transit from Makar rashi to Kumbha rashi. Kumbha Sankranti is marked by the commencement of the eleventh month according to the Hindu calendar. San represents goodness and abundance and Kranti refers to a radical change. Therefore, Sankranti implies a plenty of good change. This year, Kumbha Sankranti falls on 12th February, 2017. The auspicious time of the day varies every year according to the position of the sun. It is the day when Kumbha Mela, the world’s largest religious event, is held. Millions of people from various parts of the country come to take a dip in the holy water of the Ganga River to remove their evils and sins.
Kumbha Sankranti is celebrated by people all over the country, but people in Eastern India celebrate it on a magnificent scale. For West Bengalis, it is the commencement of Falgun Maas. According to Malayalam calendar, this festival is known as Masimasam. In South India, Sankranti is known as Sankramanam. Kumbha Mela is observed and celebrated once in every twelve years in places of worship like Haridwar, Allahabad, and River Godavari in Nasik. The ancient Indian temples along the banks of these cities are flooded with devotees on this day. The Kumbha Mela was started around 629 CE, under the rule of King Harshvardhan. In Hindu mythology, Bhagvat Puran gives entire knowledge about the origin of Kumbha Mela.
Rituals followed during Kumbha Sankranti
Worshippers usually take a holy dip in the river Ganga on the eve of Kumbha Sankranti. There are various holy places where devotees dip in the sacred rivers like Ganga in Haridwar, Yamuna in Allahabad, Shipra in Ujjain and Godavari in Nasik. According to the Hindu panchangam, devotees gain peace and happiness upon their dip in the holy riverson Kumbha Sankranthi. Lord Surya is worshipped and Surya Namaskara is performed. Worshippers recite Adita Hridayam Stotra to please the almighty. Dishes are prepared with special preference given to edible pumpkin. These dishes are then offered to Brahmins and poor people. This ritual is considered to be very beneficial for one’s material and spiritual growth. Sweet pongal is cooked and offered to Lord Surya. Worshipping cows on Kumbha Sankranti is considered highly auspicious.
Important timings on Kumbha Sankranti
|Sunrise||12-Feb-2017 07:05 AM|
|Sunset||12-Feb-2017 18:17 PM|
|Punya Kaal Muhurta||12:41 PM – 18:17 PM|
|Maha Punya Kaal Muhurta||16:25 PM – 18:17 PM|
|Sankranti Moment||12-Feb-2017 20:41 PM|
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