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Simha Sankranti is unanimously celebrated in some southern and northern Indian states with great fervor. Surprisingly, it is the most beloved festival of the Kumaunis of Himachal Pradesh who customarily apply ghee to their foreheads and consume parathas stuffed with urad dripping with ghee on this day. The exchange of gifts with local owners is considered another attractive feature of this festival.

Simha Sankranti 2022: date and time

In the south, the customs are totally different. Sacred baths, tarpaulins, charitable activities, Appada pujas and Abhishek performed with tender coconut are the striking features of southern celebrations. This festival is marked by rituals which are conducted according to the cultural moorings of the respective region. Read the entire article to gather more information about this festival.

Simha Sankranti 2022: Date

Sunrise on August 17, 2022 is at 06:07. Sunsets on August 17, 2022 at 6:54 p.m. Punya Kaal Muhurta on August 17, lasts from 06:07 until August 17 at 07:28. Maha Punya Kaal Muhurta starts on August 17 at 07:04 to August 17 at 07:28. Sankranti muhurat inaugurates on August 17, 2022 at 07:28.

Simha Sankranti 2022: History

The solar transition or transit of the Sun from kataka rashi (Cancer) to simha rashi (Leo) is known as Simha Sankranti or Simha sankramana. In Malayalam this month is called Chinga, in Tamil it is Avani and Bhadra, according to the Bengali calendar. There are 12 sankranti in a year and the beginning of each month would be a sankranti day for that month.

People from the slopes of Kumaon in Himachal Pradesh to the southern Indian states of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, find it extremely important to observe Simha Sankranti. Sankramana punya snan or holy bath taken on this day provides amazingly good benefits.

Simha Sankranti 2022: Method of worship

Each day consists of 60 ghatis. About 16 ghatis before and 16 ghatis after the Sankranti muhurta are considered very good for carrying out all auspicious activities related to the Sankranti. Simha Sankranti, like any other Sankranti, is said to be auspicious for carrying out ancestral rites and charitable activities.

At Lord Vishnu temple in Kulai, near Mangalore, special rituals like Narikela Abhishekha and Appada puja are performed to celebrate the event. A priest performs these rituals according to the muhurat. Devotees who offer bhog along with other sacred ingredients in worship to Sun God, Lord Vishnu and Lord Narsimha Swami must surely be blessed with a lucky and prosperous life. Many other temples in southern states observe rituals and prayers on this day.

Simha Sankranti 2022: Puja Rituals

  • In Simha Sankranti, Lord Vishnu, Sun God and Lord Narasimha Swamy are worshiped as primary deities.
  • A sacred bath with Nariyal or (coconut) abhisheka is performed for which only fresh coconut water is used.
  • Lord Ganesha is invoked before the start of other pujas. Appada puja is done to appease him on this day.
  • The Hoovina Puja performed for Lord Vishnu continues for a month till Kanya Sankranti.
  • Elaborate pujas are performed with flowers, fruits and other sweet delicacies offered as bhog for the deity and mantras are chanted for additional blessings from God.
Simha Sankranti 2022: date and time

Simha Sankranti 2022: Olgia or Kumaun Ghrit (ghee) Festival

The Kumaun Belt of Himachal Pradesh celebrates Simha Sankranti with great enthusiasm and faith. They call it Olgia, in the Kumauni language. There seems to be a historical background behind this celebration. During the Chand dynasty regime, craftsmen lined up their products to receive the king’s appreciation and rewards. Other commoners also carried flowers, fruits and vegetables, and dairy products to the Raja’s court. This eventually turned into a customary observance where the royal family began to receive offerings from the common people in a ritual called Olag. It is reminiscent of the days when people gave gifts to the British in order to appease them on Christmas Day. However, nowadays it is customary for farmers and craftsmen to give and receive money and gifts to owners and customers. Common items that are traded in this way are Binai (oral harp), datkhocha (metal toothpick), metal stirrups, axes, ghee, vegetables, and firewood.

In accordance with the tradition of Kamaunis, the Sankraman or Sankranti bath is taken with holy water which is sanctified by certain rites. Chapatis made from fava beans soaked in plenty of butter and ghee are eaten throughout the day here. This is an opportunity for the Kumaunis to apply ghee to their foreheads and consume a lot of it with chapatis stuffed with urad dal. The beneficial influence of this Sankranti is believed to be that it sweetens the nuts in the fields. This festival is aptly called Ghrit or ghee festival in Bageshwar region of Kumaun in Uttarakhand. “Ghrit” in Sanskrit means “ghee” or “clarified butter”.

Disclaimer: The information is based on assumptions and information available on the Internet and the accuracy or reliability is not guaranteed. Boldsky does not confirm any entry or information related to the article and our sole purpose is to provide information. Please consult the relevant expert before practicing or implementing any information and assumptions.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

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Article first published: Wednesday, August 10, 2022, 3:00 p.m. [IST]

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