NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013

NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013
Shri Ramapir Mandir/Temple in Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Devotees Take Holy Dip to Mark Makar Sankranti, India

Tuesday, January 18, 2011
INDIA, January 15, 2011: Thousands of devotees took a holy dip in the River Ganges on the concluding day of the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti in West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh on Saturday.
According to Hindu beliefs, taking a dip in the river purifies the soul, fulfills wishes of the devotees, and enables them to escape the cycle of rebirth. Around 10 million pilgrims have come this year alone for the holy dip at the Gangasagar in West Bengal, the site where the Ganges River flows into the Bay of Bengal.
"By bathing in Gangasagar waters all wishes get granted, and that is why all take a dip in the waters," said Shikha Sharma, a pilgrim from Madhya Pradesh.
"Most of the devotees take the holy dip according to the calendar date of January 14, but it was today (January 15) at half-past midnight that the sun changed its position. And this is why a lot of them are taking the holy dip today, especially women. On this occasion, devotees donate to cleanse one from his sins," said Satyanarayan Pandey, a priest.
On the occasion of Makar Sakranti, preparation of 'Khichdi' made of sesame seeds, jaggery, rice, pulses and turmeric is eaten and also offered to the poor.Today the Ganges is prayed to, and sesame seeds, jaggery, rice, pulses and turmeric is donated and also 'Khichdi' prepared out of it is eaten," said Indrakala, a devotee.
Makar Sankranti is one of the major festivals celebrated in various parts of India under different names, custom and rituals. It can be considered as a Pan-Indian festival with regional flavor.

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