Thursday, 23 January 2020

Uttaraayana and Makara Sankramana

As Uttaraayana and Sankranthi (makara sankramana) are celebrated almost on the same day, there is a belief that both are same and lies on the same day. However, Uttaraayana and Sankramana are two different things.

Uttara-ayana signifies the Sun's movement towards North.

Sankramana signifies the Sun's entry to Makara raashi.

Due to Earth's tilt, the Sun reaches the southern-most point on 22nd December. After 2 days, we can observe it's northward movement by 1 degree. That is actually uttaraayana.

Along it's path, the sun enters from one constellation to the other. As we take 12 constellations into account, every month the sun enters one constellation. On this day, the sun enters Capricorn constellation or Makara raashi, hence it is called Makara sankramana. As people in India celebrate harvesting festival during this time, Makara sankramana has taken the prominence. Another sankramana which is observed is "Tula sankramana" which lies on 17th October. On that day, the sun enters Libra constellation.

Actually the sun enters each constellation every month but these two have got prominence as far as I know.

Even sankramana dates change due to the planetary positions and movements. But these changes happen in several years.

In olden days, uttaraayana might have coincided with the Makara sankramana date but now it has changed. I don't know why this aspect is not updated in panchanga.

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