Confusion Prevails over Date of Makara Sankranti
By S Guru Srikanth | Published: 07th January 2014 08:39 AM |
There is a widespread confusion this year regarding the exact date of Makara Sankranti with different calendars publishing different dates for the festival.
In the list of holidays announced by the government for its employees (goir.ap.gov.in), it was mentioned that Sankranti or Pongal will be on celebrated on January 14.
But in the calendar brought out by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), the date of the festival was given as January 15.
In the present era of Internet, when most people relay upon computers to search for the exact date of the festival, the confusion even prevails there. While the Telugu Calander.org and some similar websites say that the date of the festival is Januray 14, the website telugupanchanga.org, which gives Muhurtham of the day with star in ascendance for determining auspicious time, states that Makara Sankranti will be celebrated on January 15.
When contacted by Express, TTD’s Asthana Siddanthi Tangirala Prabhakara Purnaiah Siddhanthi, who prepared the TTD calendar, explained that the date given in the TTD calendar was given based on calculations made following ancient texts.
‘’Makara Sankramanam celebrated as Makara Sankranti had great significance to Hindus. It is the time when the Sun moves into Makara Rasi (Capricorn). Following the ancient customs and traditions, Makara Sankranti is not celebrated, if the transition of the Sun into Maraka Rasi takes place after the sunset instead, it is celebrated the next day,’’ he explained.
According to him, on January 14, the Sun enters Makara Rasi at 6:20 p.m. which is after sunset, which according to astrological calculations would be at 5:40 p.m. in Tirupati with variation of few minutes in other places in the state. ‘’Since the time of transition is after the sunset, the festival will be celebrated on January 15,’’ he says.
Meanwhile, arguments continued among the different groups of pundits on the exact date of the festival.