Makar Sankranti & Plant Significance 2024

Makar Sankranti & Plant Significance 2024

Plant Significance for Makar Sankranti 2024

Wishes of prosperity & the arrival of spring. The sun's entry into Capricorn (Makara), an auspicious & colorful zodiac sign, is celebrated at the Hindu festival of Makar Sankranti. This festival is celebrated across the nation, although it is known by different names in each region. People call it "Pongal" in the south, "Lohri" in Punjab, "Kite Flying Day" in Gujarat & Rajasthan, & "Marwari" in Bihar across India. Despite the change in name, the festival's goal of bringing people together remains the same.

The festival “Makar Sankranti” shows the importance of agriculture in every community & our impact on nature. Continue reading to learn in detail about Makar Sankranti & plant significance in 2024.

 

 

How is Makar Sankranti related to crops?

 

The Hindu festival of Makar Sankranti celebrates the sun's entry into Capricorn & its northward migration at the start of the year. When the sun rises & enters the Northern Hemisphere on Makar Sankranti, it marks the start of longer days & harvests.

For farmers, the sun means the start of spring, which means the crops grow seasonally & there is more food & wealth. On Makar Sankranti, farmers thank the sun deity for bringing energy & income. Like Teacher's Day, we appreciate our valued teachers who taught, blessed, & directed us. 

 

Also Check This: Best Plants to Gift to Guru & Monk

 

 

Makar Sankranti & Plant Significance

 

During the celebration of Makar Sankranti, which has numerous meanings, many people offer plants as gifts. In Hinduism, there is a strong connection between nature & divinity. How people & the world should work together is shown by the use of different plants.

The plants get stronger & gain energy when the sun is in Capricorn. They also start a new life & grow again. People believe that this position of the stars is good for growth & planting seeds. As a result, activities like field preparation start in September & last all winter.

 

 

What are the plants in Makar Sankranti?

 

There are several different plants that are linked to the Makar Sankranti, which are part of the celebrations & hold significance to the religious & cultural aspects of the festival. According to research, plant sources used in the Hindu festival "Makar Sankranti"—the Sun's Uttarayan Movement—are as follows:

Plant name

Botanical name

Family

Habitat

Part used

Uses

Bela

Aegle marmelos (L.) Corr.

Rutaceae

Tree

Leaves

Worshipping

Duba

Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.

Poaceae

Grass

Leaves

Worshipping

Barakoli

Ziziphus mauritiana Lam.

Rhamnaceae

Tree

Leaves

Worshipping

Dutura

Datura metel L.

Solanaceae

Shrub

Leaves

Worshipping

Tulsi

Ocimum sanctum L.

Lamiaceae

Herb

Leaves

Worshipping

Kadali

Musa sapientum L.

Musaceae

Tree

Leaves

Worshipping, Prasad

Amba

Mangifera indica L.

Anacardiaceae

Tree

Leaves

Worshipping

Pana

Piper betel L.

Piperaceae

Climber

Leaves

Worshipping

Tagara

Tabernaemontana divaricata (L.) R.Br.

Apocynaceae

Shrub

Flower

Garland

Gendu

Tagetes erecta (L).

Asteraceae

Herb

Flower

Garland

Kaniyari

Cascabela thevetia (L.) Lppold

Apocynaceae

Shrub

Flower

Garland

Mandara

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L.

Malvaceae

Shrub

Flower

Garland

Champa

Michelia champaca L.

Magnoliaceae

Tree

Flower

Garland

Karvira

Nerium oleander L.

Apocynaceae

Small tree

Flower

Garland

Gua

Areca catechu L.

Arecaceae

Tree

Fruit

Worshipping

Chandan

Santalum album L.

Santalaceae

Tree

Wood

Worshipping

Dhana

Oryza sativa L.

Poaceae

Grass

Seed

Worshipping, prasad

Kakudi

Cucumis sativus L.

Cucurbitaceae

Climber

Fruit

Prasad

Seo

Pyrus malus L.

Rosaceae

Tree

Fruit

Prasad

Angura

Vitis vinifera L.

Vitaceae

Climber

Fruit

Prasad

Pijuli

Psidium guajava L.

Myrtaceae

Tree

Fruit

Prasad

Golamaricha

Piper nigrum L.

Piperaceae

Climber

Fruit

Prasad

Gujurati

Elettaria cardamomum L.

Zingiberaceae

Herb

Fruit

Prasad

Nadia

Cocos nusifera L.

Arecaceae

Tree

Fruit

Prasad

Author detail: Ushashee Mandal, Monalisa Panda, Sagarika Parida & Gyanranjan Mahalik*

Department  of  Botany,  School  of  Applied  Sciences,  Centurion  University  of  Technology  & Management, Odisha, India.

 

Also Check This: Top 11 Religious Plants in India: Sacred Plants of India

 

 

Plant Sources That Used to Celebrate Makar Sankranti

 

A few examples of plant sources that are traditionally used to celebrate Makar Sankranti & their symbolic meanings are:

 

1. Bela:

Makar Sankranti & Plant Significance 2024 - Bela

 

Bela leaves are used for prayer during this festive season to represent a successful start to the beginning of the year. At the same time that the sun moves into Capricorn, the bela stands for harmony between faith & nature.

 

 

2. Tulsi:

Makar Sankranti & Plant Significance 2024 - Tulsi

 

Tulsi is revered as a sacred herb in Hinduism due to its divine nature. Hindus take a bath early in the morning & pray to the sun on Makar Sankranti. They put clean Tulsi branches in a pail with clean water & cow's milk. They decorate it with flower garlands, mango leaves, & Haldi Kumkum. Members of the family present the red coral, also known as Tulsi mala, with uncooked rice kernels & black sesame seeds. Another reason Tulsi is a holy plant is because it changes with the sun, which lets people in the east have spiritual experiences.

 

Also Check This: Why Tulsi Vivah Is Celebrated: Tulasi Vivah Story 2023

 

 

3. Duba:

Makar Sankranti & Plant Significance 2024 - Duba

 

Duba, a Poaceae plant, is used in rituals during Makar Sankranti. Duba is used in many Indian households to symbolize prosperity & fertility. Thus, worshiping with its leaves amplifies the joyous & spiritual atmosphere of the Makar Sankranti.

 

 

4. Datura:

Makar Sankranti & Plant Significance 2024 - Datura

 

Datura leaves are spiritually significant in Makar Sankranti worship. Datura leaves in Makar Sankranti indicate the start of harvest season, & this day is celebrated on the Transit of the Sun into the Capricorn Zodiac, which is ascending & forms a divine union with the green atmosphere of the earth, symbolizing growth & prosperity.

 

 

5. Kadali: 

Makar Sankranti & Plant Significance 2024 - Kadali

 

Kadali are used in the festival's rituals & served as prasad. The fact that these leaves can be eaten shows that the festival values nature's gifts & the cycles of growth, harvesting, & replanting. For many people, trees & their leaves are signs that they care about & value the environment.

 

 

6. Pana:

Makar Sankranti & Plant Significance 2024 - Pana

 

Pana, scientifically known as Piper betel, is a vine of the Piperaceae family that grows as a shade plant. During the Makar Sankranti celebration, the leaves of the Piper betel plant are revered for their symbolic value as a source of balance & benefit.

 

 

7. Mandara:

Makar Sankranti & Plant Significance 2024 - Mandara

 

The Mandara flower is its common name, although it is scientifically known as Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. India celebrates Makar Sankranti with lots of colorful celebrations. One with Mandara flowers is especially delightful. These huge blooms are used for making garlands to convey admiration & beauty.

 

 

8. Gua:

Makar Sankranti & Plant Significance 2024 - Gua

 

Gua is one of the Areca catechu fruits honored during Makar Sankranti. As part of worship, they are an offering of nature's bounty & the cycle of harvest. 

 

 

9. Chandan:

Makar Sankranti & Plant Significance 2024 - Chandan

 

During the Makar Sankranti festival, it is customary to sprinkle sandalwood (Chandan) paste on the idols as a blessing. The shrine's ambiance & aroma are enhanced through the use of sandalwood paste.

 

 

10. Dhana:

Makar Sankranti & Plant Significance 2024 - Dhana

 

Dhana, meaning "rice," symbolizes nourishment or wealth. Makar Sankranti uses dhana because its seeds are abundant. People give everyone prasad of Dhana when accomplishing rituals for the gods on Makar Sankranti.

 

Also Check This: Indoor Plant Buying Guide: How To Choose The Best Indoor Plant

 

 

Conclusion

 

According to Hindu tradition, the sun begins to rise in the north during the Makar Sankranti festival. On Makar Sankranti, plants are believed to bring luck & prosperity. Some people eat plant food (as prasad) & decorate their homes with leaves & plants to ward off evil spirits & bring luck.

Moreover, the festivals of Makar Sankranti or Pongal honor Mother Nature for her endless rewards. What better way to give back this season in our own way? Gifting a plant or planter honors nature. Let’s bring Greenkin's plants to home this Makar Sankranti 2024 to help Mother Nature to preserve the planet's lush greenery. Or send Greenkin plants to people you care about to help them live or  help Mother Nature have a more eco-friendly life.

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