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Makar Sankranti: festival of giving and anniversary of Lord Chaitanya taking Sanyasa

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b-8.jpgBraj, 2018.01.15: Mathura-Vrindavan’s Mayor, Dr Mukesh Aryabandhu and other dignitaries, as well as temple Goswamis and ordinary families gathered yesterday for celebrations on the occasion of Makar Sankranti.

Makar Sankranti is a day of giving. It was traditionally celebrated by distributing sesame sweet balls (til ki laddoo) and Khichdi. As the festival fell on Sunday, thousands made the pilgrimage to Vrindavan to take snan in the Yamuna and visit temples, although police said that the number of pilgrims was down from last year.

At a program at Saraswati Shishu Mandir, Mathura, Mayor Dr. Mukesh Aryabandhu, MLA Puran Prakash, Acharya Mridulkant Shastri, Chancellor of GLA University, Narayan Das Agarwal and Dr. Krishnakumar Kanaudia celebrated Makarsankranti with Khichdi. Chief speaker, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh‘s, Vijay Banta Agrawal said that Makar Sankranti is considered one of 6 major festivals of the year. Makar Sankranti  marks the end of the month long Khichdi festival in many temples.

Temples around Braj, including Banke Bihari Temple, offered Khichdi to Thakurji. The North Central Railway Vendor Committee distributed khichdi prasad on the trains that stopped at Mathura station. RLD members distributed snacks at Mathura State Children’s Home and BJP members distributed blanket to widows.

Vaishanavas celebrated the day as the anniversary of Lord Chaitanya taking sanyasa. It is said that the people of Katwa Village were shocked and distressed at Nimai’s announcement that he was entering the renounced order. The barber who cut his hair at first refused but later relented to Nimai’s insistence. The barber cut Nimai’s hair with tears in his eyes and, after cutting the Lord’s hair, vowed to never again cut anyone’s hair.

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