Khammam/Warangal: Hindus from both Telugu-speaking States and that of Karnataka are gearing up to celebrate the Harvest festival, Sankranti, this month. However, the confusion still prevails over the date of its celebration as there is a difference of opinion among astrologers and netizens with different dates being circulated on social media.
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According to government calendar, Sankranti this year falls on January 15. But as per the noted astrologers and purohits, the festival should be celebrated on January 14.
Noted astrologer from Sattupalli, Peddinti Suryanarayana Murthy said the word ‘Sankranti’ signifies the movement of Sun from one zodiac to another. According to Hindu calendar, Makar Sankranti is celebrated when the Sun moves into the Makar (Capricorn) zodiac. Usually, the festival falls on January 14. But this year, the difference in the Sun’s movement had left many confused about the date. “The transition this year will take place at 1.46 pm on January 14 Sunday, so the festival Makar Sankranti must be celebrated on 14 only, Bhogi on 13, and Kanuma on 15,” he added.
G Venu Madhav, a purohit at Hanamkonda said the Panchangam contains two types of calculations. One based on the local coordinates like longitude and latitude and the other on geocentric astronomical events like planetary positions, solar and lunar eclipses.
The root of confusion goes back to 1957 when a uniform lunar calendar was introduced by the Calendar Reform Committee. The panel ignored minor differences in calculating auspicious timings of Hindu festivals in different regions. These differences are leading to fixing of different muhurthams for festivals, he said.
Prof N Ramachary of Kakatiya University said Makar Sankranti falls on solar month of Makara and lunar month of Magha. It marks the end of the month with winter solstice and the darkest night of the year, a month that is called Pausha in lunar system and Bhanu in solar system of Hindu time keeping methodology. The festival also marks the beginning of a six months of auspicious period of Hindus known as Uttarayana period.
“The common public and followers of Panchangam are confused over the dates. The difference of opinions will confuse public and the government should give clarity by organising a meeting with experts,” he opined.