The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethnolinguistic group of Northern European origin identified by their use of the Germanic languages. Their history stretches from the 2nd millennium BCE up to the present day. Proto-Germanic peoples are believed to have emerged during the Nordic Bronze Age, which developed out of the Battle Axe culture in southern Scandinavia. During the Iron Age various Germanic tribes began a southward expansion at the expense of Celtic peoples, which led to centuries of sporadic violent conflict with ancient Rome, it is from Roman authors. The decisive victory of Arminius at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 CE is believed to have prevented the eventual Romanization of the Germanic peoples, has therefore been considered a turning point in world history. Germanic tribes settled the entire Roman frontier along the Rhine and the Danube, some established close relations with the Romans serving as royal tutors and mercenaries, sometimes rising to the highest offices in the Roman military.
Meanwhile, Germanic tribes expanded into Eastern Europe, where the Goths subdued the local Iranian nomads and came to dominate the Pontic Steppe launching sea expeditions into the Balkans and Anatolia as far as Cyprus. The westward expansion of the Huns into Europe in the late 4th century CE pushed many Germanic tribes into the Western Roman Empire, their vacated lands were filled by Slavs. Much of these territories were reclaimed in following centuries. Other tribes became known as the Anglo-Saxons. With the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, a series of Germanic kingdoms emerged, of which, Francia gained a dominant position; this kingdom formed the Holy Roman Empire under the leadership of Charlemagne, recognized by Pope Leo III in 800 CE. Meanwhile, North Germanic seafarers referred to as Vikings, embarked on a massive expansion which led to the establishment of the Duchy of Normandy, Kievan Rus' and their settlement of the British Isles and the North Atlantic Ocean as far as North America.
With the North Germanic abandonment of their native religion in the 11th century, nearly all Germanic peoples had been converted to Christianity. In about 222 BCE, the first use of the Latin term "Germani" appears in the Fasti Capitolini inscription de Galleis Insvbribvs et Germ; this may be referring to Gaul or related people. The term Germani shows up again written by Poseidonios, but is a quotation inserted by the author Athenaios who wrote much later. Somewhat the first surviving detailed discussions of Germani and Germania are those of Julius Caesar, whose memoirs are based on first-hand experience. From Caesar's perspective, Germania was a geographical area of land on the east bank of the Rhine opposite Gaul, which Caesar left outside direct Roman control; this word provides the etymological origin of the modern concept of "Germanic" languages and Germany as a geographical abstraction. For some classical authors Germania included regions of Sarmatia, as well as an area under Roman control on the west bank of the Rhine.
Additionally, in the south there were Celtic peoples still living east of the Rhine and north of the Alps. Caesar and others noted differences of culture which could be found on the east of the Rhine, but the theme of all these cultural references was that this was a wild and dangerous region, less civilized than Gaul, a place that required additional military vigilance. Caesar used the term Germani for a specific tribal grouping in northeastern Belgic Gaul, west of the Rhine, the largest part of whom were the Eburones, he made clear. These are the so-called Germani Cisrhenani, whom Caesar believed to be related to the peoples east of the Rhine, descended from immigrants into Gaul. Tacitus suggests that this was the original meaning of the word "Germani" – as the name of a single tribal nation west of the Rhine, ancestral to the Tungri, not the name of a whole race as it came to mean, he suggested that two large Belgic tribes neighbouring Caesar's Germani, the Nervii and the Treveri, liked to call themselves Germanic in his time, in order not to be associated with Gaulish indolence.
Caesar described this group of tribes both as Germani. Gauls are associated with Celtic languages, the term Germani is associated with Germanic languages, but Caesar did not discuss languages in detail; the geographer Ptolemy described the place where these people lived as Germania, which according to his accounts was bordered by the Rhine and Danube Rivers, but he circumscribed into Greater Germania an area which included Jutland and an enormous island known as Scandia. While saying that the Germani had ancestry across the Rhine, Caesar did not describe these tribes as recent immigrants, saying that they had defended themselves some generations earlier from the invading Cimbri and Teutones, it has been claimed, for example by Maurits Gysseling, that the place names of this region show evidence of an early presence of Germanic languages, as early as the 2nd century BCE. The Celtic culture and language were however influential als
The Neolithic, the final division of the Stone Age, began about 12,000 years ago when the first development of farming appeared in the Epipalaeolithic Near East, in other parts of the world. The division lasted until the transitional period of the Chalcolithic from about 6,500 years ago, marked by the development of metallurgy, leading up to the Bronze Age and Iron Age. In Northern Europe, the Neolithic lasted until about 1700 BC, while in China it extended until 1200 BC. Other parts of the world remained broadly in the Neolithic stage of development, although this term may not be used, until European contact; the Neolithic comprises a progression of behavioral and cultural characteristics and changes, including the use of wild and domestic crops and of domesticated animals. The term Neolithic derives from the Greek νέος néos, "new" and λίθος líthos, "stone" meaning "New Stone Age"; the term was coined by Sir John Lubbock in 1865 as a refinement of the three-age system. Following the ASPRO chronology, the Neolithic started in around 10,200 BC in the Levant, arising from the Natufian culture, when pioneering use of wild cereals evolved into early farming.
The Natufian period or "proto-Neolithic" lasted from 12,500 to 9,500 BC, is taken to overlap with the Pre-Pottery Neolithic of 10,200–8800 BC. As the Natufians had become dependent on wild cereals in their diet, a sedentary way of life had begun among them, the climatic changes associated with the Younger Dryas are thought to have forced people to develop farming. By 10,200–8800 BC farming communities had arisen in the Levant and spread to Asia Minor, North Africa and North Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia is the site of the earliest developments of the Neolithic Revolution from around 10,000 BC. Early Neolithic farming was limited to a narrow range of plants, both wild and domesticated, which included einkorn wheat and spelt, the keeping of dogs and goats. By about 6900–6400 BC, it included domesticated cattle and pigs, the establishment of permanently or seasonally inhabited settlements, the use of pottery. Not all of these cultural elements characteristic of the Neolithic appeared everywhere in the same order: the earliest farming societies in the Near East did not use pottery.
In other parts of the world, such as Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia, independent domestication events led to their own regionally distinctive Neolithic cultures, which arose independently of those in Europe and Southwest Asia. Early Japanese societies and other East Asian cultures used pottery before developing agriculture. In the Middle East, cultures identified as Neolithic began appearing in the 10th millennium BC. Early development occurred from there spread eastwards and westwards. Neolithic cultures are attested in southeastern Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia by around 8000 BC; the prehistoric Beifudi site near Yixian in Hebei Province, contains relics of a culture contemporaneous with the Cishan and Xinglongwa cultures of about 6000–5000 BC, neolithic cultures east of the Taihang Mountains, filling in an archaeological gap between the two Northern Chinese cultures. The total excavated area is more than 1,200 square yards, the collection of neolithic findings at the site encompasses two phases.
The Neolithic 1 period began around 10,000 BC in the Levant. A temple area in southeastern Turkey at Göbekli Tepe, dated to around 9500 BC, may be regarded as the beginning of the period; this site was developed by nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes, as evidenced by the lack of permanent housing in the vicinity, may be the oldest known human-made place of worship. At least seven stone circles, covering 25 acres, contain limestone pillars carved with animals and birds. Stone tools were used by as many as hundreds of people to create the pillars, which might have supported roofs. Other early PPNA sites dating to around 9500–9000 BC have been found in Jericho, West Bank, Gilgal in the Jordan Valley, Byblos, Lebanon; the start of Neolithic 1 overlaps the Heavy Neolithic periods to some degree. The major advance of Neolithic 1 was true farming. In the proto-Neolithic Natufian cultures, wild cereals were harvested, early seed selection and re-seeding occurred; the grain was ground into flour. Emmer wheat was domesticated, animals were herded and domesticated.
In 2006, remains of figs were discovered in a house in Jericho dated to 9400 BC. The figs are of a mutant variety that cannot be pollinated by insects, therefore the trees can only reproduce from cuttings; this evidence suggests that figs were the first cultivated crop and mark the invention of the technology of farming. This occurred centuries before the first cultivation of grains. Settlements became more permanent, with circular houses, much like those of the Natufians, with single rooms. However, these houses were for the first time made of mudbrick; the settlement had a surrounding stone wall and a stone tower. The wall served as protection from nearby groups, as protection from floods, or to keep animals penned; some of the enclosures suggest grain and meat storage. The Neolithic 2 began around 8800 BC according to the ASPRO chronology in the Levant; as with the PPNA dates, there are two versions from the same laboratories noted above. This system of terminology, however, is not convenient for southeast Anatolia and settlements of the middle Anatolia basin.
A settlement of 3,000 inhabitants was found in th
Midvinterblot is a painting by the Swedish painter Carl Larsson, created in 1915 for the hall of the central staircase in Nationalmuseum in Stockholm. It has been called Sweden's most controversial painting; the painting depicts a legend from Norse mythology in which the Swedish king Domalde is sacrificed to avert famine. After long debate, the painting was rejected by the museum. Larsson was commissioned to decorate all the walls of the central staircase in the museum except for one, he wanted to decorate the last wall as well, he intended the last wall to present a contrast to the other illustrations of the staircase. Whereas the painting Gustav Vasa enters Stockholm 1523 presented a midsummer theme with a triumphant king, Larsson wanted the last illustration to be a midwinter theme with a king who sacrificed himself for his people. Larsson went to Copenhagen to visit the National Museum of Denmark where he copied the ornamentation of an Iron Age fibula; the literary sources that inspired Larsson were Adam of Snorri Sturluson.
On the subject of the Temple at Uppsala, Adam of Bremen had written: In this temple, built of gold, the people worship the statues of three gods. These images are arranged so that Thor, the most powerful, has his throne in the middle of the group of three. On either side of him sit Freyr. Near that temple is a large tree with widespread branches which are always green both in winter and summer. What kind of tree it is nobody knows. There is a spring there where the pagan are accustomed to perform sacrifices and to immerse a human being alive; as long as his body is not found, the request of the people will be fulfilled. Snorri Sturluson wrote on the subject of the sacrifice of the king: Domald took the heritage left by his father Visbur, ruled over the land; as in his time there was great famine and distress, the Swedes made great offerings of sacrifice at Upsal. The first autumn they sacrificed oxen; the following autumn they sacrificed men. The third autumn, when the offer of sacrifices should begin, a great multitude of Swedes came to Upsal.
And they did so. The earliest known sketch is located in the Carl Larsson museum in Sundborn, it was dated by Karl Axel Arvidsson to a time shortly after the visit to Copenhagen in 1910. In July, Larsson started to paint a large version, finished in January 1911, but it is only preserved in a photograph, it is based on the early sketch but it presents a richer set of figures in the foreground. The early version was put on display in Nationalmuseum without receiving any official comments. There was no formal order and no official contest had been declared, the initiative was only Larsson's. An anonymous writer calling himself "Archaeologist" voiced harsh criticism in Dagens Nyheter on February 20, 1911; the writer stated that there were several anachronisms in the painting and, combined freely. The anonymous writer called the temple a "summer restaurant" decorated with motives from the Biological museum in Stockholm and he considered the dresses in the painting to be as preposterous as a Swedish farm with camels walking around the dunghill.
The criticism against the artistic freedom of giving a personal interpretation of a distant historic event, could have been directed at many other historic paintings of the 19th century. The criticism against Midvinterblot would be in the same vein during the following years. Larsson retorted that he would delegate the task to a younger talent—but he made a second version in oil in which he made the temple wider and where he added an executioner in the centre; the sets of characters were more assembled and the frieze-like quality was enhanced. Some major changes were introduced in a third watercolour painting which he made during the autumn of 1913; this version was given the text En drömsyn. En konung offras för folket, a text, added in the hope that it would not be considered to be an attempt at a faithful reconstruction; the most essential change consisted of a more monumental composition. The temple had been enlarged and given a more stern shape, the figures had been more assembled and they formed an unbroken relief-like row.
The sketch was put on exhibition in the museum in November 1913 and in a letter to Ludvig Looström, the director of the museum, Larsson offered the painting for 35,000 Swedish kronor. This version was criticised before the museum board had had time to present their own view. August Brunius, who had expressed his enthusiasm for the Gustav Vasa painting, reacted against the choice of subject, like most critics; the choice of subject was only aggravated by the way. Brunius felt the painting to be unreal and not relevant for the modern Swedes of the early 20th century. On January 17, 1914, the museum's board presented their ambivalent view on the painting; the majority of the board seconded the motion that Larsson was to finish Midvinterblot for the museum wall, but they added the reservation that the main scene with the sacrifice of a king should be excluded or downplayed. The director of the museum, Looström, objected to the board's ruling, he declared the pain
A Christmas tree is a decorated tree an evergreen conifer such as a spruce, pine or fir, or an artificial tree of similar appearance, associated with the celebration of Christmas, originating in Northern Europe. The custom was developed in medieval Livonia, in early modern Germany where Protestant Germans brought decorated trees into their homes, it acquired popularity beyond the Lutheran areas of Germany and the Baltic countries during the second half of the 19th century, at first among the upper classes. The tree was traditionally decorated with "roses made of colored paper, wafers, sweetmeats". In the 18th century, it began to be illuminated by candles, which were replaced by Christmas lights after the advent of electrification. Today, there is a wide variety of traditional ornaments, such as garlands, baubles and candy canes. An angel or star might be placed at the top of the tree to represent the Angel Gabriel or the Star of Bethlehem from the Nativity. Edible items such as gingerbread and other sweets are popular and are tied to or hung from the tree's branches with ribbons.
In the Western Christian tradition, Christmas trees are variously erected on days such as the first day of Advent or as late as Christmas Eve depending on the country. The Christmas tree is sometimes compared with the "Yule-tree" in discussions of its folkloric origins. Modern Christmas trees originated during the Renaissance of early modern Germany, its 16th-century origins are sometimes associated with Protestant Christian reformer Martin Luther, said to have first added lighted candles to an evergreen tree. The first recorded Christmas tree can be found on the keystone sculpture of a private home in Turckheim, dating 1576. While today the Christmas tree is a recognized symbol for the holidays, it was once a pagan tradition unassociated with Christmas traditions. Modern Christmas trees have been related to the "tree of paradise" of medieval mystery plays that were given on 24 December, the commemoration and name day of Adam and Eve in various countries. In such plays, a tree decorated with apples and wafers was used as a setting for the play.
Like the Christmas crib, the Paradise tree was placed in homes. The apples were replaced by round objects such as shiny red balls. At the end of the Middle Ages, an early predecessor appears referred in the Regiment of the Order of Cister around 1400, in Alcobaça, Portugal; the Regiment of the local high-Sacristans of the Cistercian Order refers to what may be considered one of the oldest references to the Christmas tree: "Note on how to put the Christmas branch, scilicet: On the Christmas eve, you will look for a large Branch of green laurel, you shall reap many red oranges, place them on the branches that come of the laurel as you have seen, in every orange you shall put a candle, hang the Branch by a rope in the pole, which shall be by the candle of the altar-mor."The relevance of ancient pre-Christian customs to the 16th-century German initiation of the Christmas tree custom is disputed. Resistance to the custom was because of its supposed Lutheran origins. Other sources have offered a connection between the symbolism of the first documented Christmas trees in Alsace around 1600 and the trees of pre-Christian traditions.
For example, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica, "The use of evergreen trees and garlands to symbolize eternal life was a custom of the ancient Egyptians and Hebrews. Tree worship was common among the pagan Europeans and survived their conversion to Christianity in the Scandinavian customs of decorating the house and barn with evergreens at the New Year to scare away the devil and of setting up a tree for the birds during Christmas time."During the Roman mid-winter festival of Saturnalia, houses were decorated with wreaths of evergreen plants, along with other antecedent customs now associated with Christmas. The Vikings and Saxons worshiped trees; the story of Saint Boniface cutting down Donar's Oak illustrates the pagan practices in 8th century among the Germans. A folk version of the story adds the detail that an evergreen tree grew in place of the felled oak, telling them about how its triangular shape reminds humanity of the Trinity and how it points to heaven. Georgians have their own traditional Christmas tree called Chichilaki, made from dried up hazelnut or walnut branches that are shaped to form a small coniferous tree.
These pale-colored ornaments differ in height from 20 cm to 3 meters. Chichilakis are most common in the Guria and Samegrelo regions of Georgia near the Black Sea, but they can be found in some stores around the capital of Tbilisi. Georgians believe that Chichilaki resembles the famous beard of St. Basil the Great, because Eastern Orthodox Church commemorates St. Basil on 1 January. In Poland there was an old pagan custom of suspending a branch of fir, spruce or pine called Podłaźniczka from the ceiling. An alternative to this was mistletoe; the branches were decorated with apples, cookies, colored paper, stars made of straw and colored wafers. Some people believed that the tree had magical powers that were linked with harvesting and success in the next year. In the late 18th and early 19th century, these traditions were completely replaced by the German custom of decorati
Amaterasu, Amaterasu-ōmikami, or Ōhirume-no-muchi-no-kami is a deity of the Japanese myth cycle and a major deity of the Shinto religion. She is seen as the goddess of the universe; the name Amaterasu is derived from Amateru and means "shining in heaven". The meaning of her whole name, Amaterasu-ōmikami, is "the great august kami who shines in the heaven". According to the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki in Japanese mythology, the Emperors of Japan are considered to be direct descendants of Amaterasu. Records of the worship of Amaterasu are found from the c. 712 CE Kojiki and c. 720 CE Nihon Shoki, the oldest records of Japanese history. In Japanese mythology, the goddess of the sun, is the sister of Susanoo, the god of storms and the sea, of Tsukuyomi, the god of the moon, it was written that Amaterasu had painted the landscape with her siblings while she created ancient Japan. Amaterasu was said to have been created by the divine couple Izanagi and Izanami, who were themselves created by, or grew from, the originator of the Universe, Amenominakanushi.
All three deities were born from Izanagi when he was purifying himself upon entering Yomi, the underworld, after breaking the promise not to see dead Izanami and he was chased by her and Yakusan-no-ikaduchigami, surrounding rotten Izanami. Amaterasu was born when Izanagi washed out his left eye, Tsukuyomi was born from the washing of the right eye, Susanoo from the washing of the nose. Amaterasu became the ruler of the sun and the heavens along with her brother, Tsukuyomi as the ruler of the night, Susanoo as the ruler of the seas. Amaterasu shared the sky with Tsukuyomi, her husband and brother until, out of disgust, he killed the goddess of food, Uke Mochi, when she pulled "food from her rectum and mouth"; this killing upset Amaterasu causing her to split away from him. The texts tell of a long-standing rivalry between Amaterasu and her other brother, Susanoo. Susanoo is said to have insulted claiming she had no power over the higher realm; when Izanagi ordered him to leave Heaven, he went to bid his sister goodbye.
Amaterasu was suspicious, but when Susanoo proposed a challenge to prove his sincerity, she accepted. Each of them took an object belonging from it, birthed deities. Amaterasu birthed three women from Susanoo's sword. Claiming the gods were hers because they were born of her necklace, the goddesses were his, she decided that she had won the challenge, as his item produced women. After Susanoo's defeat he went on a rampage destroying much of the heavenly and earthly realm, Amaterasu's rice fields, hurled a flayed pony at her loom, killing one of her attendants in a fit of rage. Amaterasu, in fury and grief, hid inside the Ama-no-Iwato, plunging the earth into darkness and chaos, she was persuaded to leave the cave. Omoikane threw a party outside of the Ama-no-Iwato to lure Amaterasu out but it was not until the Goddess Ame-no-Uzume danced promiscuously outside of the cave that Amaterasu came out. Susanoo was punished by being banished from heaven. Both amended their conflict when Susanoo gave her the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi sword as a reconciliation gift.
According to legend, responsible from keeping balance and harmony within the earthly realm, bequeathed to her descendant Ninigi: the mirror, Yata no Kagami. Collectively, the sacred mirror and sword became the three Imperial Regalia of Japan; the Ise Shrine located in Ise, Mie Prefecture, houses the inner shrine, dedicated to Amaterasu. Her sacred mirror, Yata no Kagami, is said to be kept at this shrine as one of the imperial regalia objects. A ceremony known as Shikinen Sengu is held every twenty years at this shrine to honor the many deities enshrined, formed by 125 shrines altogether. At that time, new shrine buildings are built at a location adjacent to the site first. After the transfer of the object of worship, new clothing and treasure and offering food to the goddess the old buildings are taken apart; the building materials taken apart are given to buildings to renovate. This practice is a part of the Shinto faith and has been practiced since the year 690, but is not only for Amaterasu but for many other deities enshrined in Ise Shrine.
The Amanoiwato Shrine in Takachiho, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan is dedicated to Amaterasu and sits above the gorge containing Ama-no-Iwato. The worship of Amaterasu to the exclusion of other kami has been described as "the cult of the sun"; this phrase may refer to the early pre-archipelagoan worship of the sun. Himiko Shinto in popular culture Sól Surya Vairocana Zalmoxis Ōkami Amaterasu, fictional character from video game Ōkami
Makara Sankranti, Maghi, is a festival day in the Hindu calendar, in reference to deity Surya. It is observed each year in January, it marks the first day of sun's transit into the Makara, marking the end of the month with the winter solstice and the start of longer days. Makara Sankranti is one of the few ancient Indian festivals, observed according to solar cycles, while most festivals are set by the lunar cycle of the lunisolar Hindu calendar. Being a festival that celebrates the solar cycle, it always falls on the same Gregorian date every year, except in some years when the date shifts by a day for that year; the festivities associated with Makar Sankranti are known by various names such as Maghi by north Indian Hindus and Sikhs, Makara Sankranti in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Telangana, Sukarat in central India, Magh Bihu by Assamese, Thai Pongal by Tamils. Makara Sankranti is observed with social festivities such as colorful decorations, rural children going house to house and asking for treats in some areas, dances, kite flying and feasts.
The Magha Mela, according to Diana L. Eck, is mentioned in the Hindu epic Mahabharata Many go to sacred rivers or lakes and bathe with thanksgiving to the sun; every twelve years, the Hindus observe Makar Sankranti with one of the world's largest mass pilgrimages, with an estimated 40 to 100 million people attending the event. At this event they say a prayer to the sun and bathe at the Prayaga confluence of the River Ganga and River Yamuna at the Kumbha Mela, a tradition attributed to Adi Shankaracharya. Makara Sankranti is set by the solar cycle of the Hindu lunisolar calendar, is observed on a day which falls on 14 January of Gregorian calendar, but sometimes 15 January, it signifies the arrival of longer days. Makar Sankranti falls in the Hindu calendar solar month of Makara, lunar month of Magha, it marks the end of the month with winter solstice for India and the longest night of the year, a month, called Pausha in lunar calendar and Dhanu in the solar calendar in the Vikrami system. The festival celebrates the first month with longer days.
There are two different systems to calculate the Makara Sankranti date: sayana. The January 14 date is based on the nirayana system, while the sayana system computes to about December 23, per most Siddhanta texts for Hindu calendars; as per the solar calendar, after one year, Sun comes to the same location 20 min. Late every year which means Sun needs to 1 day extra after every 72 years in the sky. That's the reason; this festival is dedicated to Surya. This significance of Surya is traceable to the Vedic texts the Gayatri Mantra, a sacred hymn of Hinduism found in its scripture named the Rigveda; the festival marks the beginning of a six-month auspicious period for Hindus known as Uttarayana. Makara Sankranti is regarded as important for spiritual practices and accordingly, people take a holy dip in rivers Ganga, Godavari and Kaveri; the bathing is believed to result in absolution of past sins. They pray to the sun and thank for their successes and prosperity. A shared cultural practices found amongst Hindus of various parts of India is making sticky, bound sweets from sesame and a sugar base such as jaggery.
This type of sweet is a symbolism for being together in peace and joyfulness, despite the uniqueness and differences between individuals. For most parts of India, this period is a part of early stages of the Rabi crop and agricultural cycle, where crops have been sown and the hard work in the fields is over; the time thus signifies a period of socializing and families enjoying each other's company, taking care of the cattle, celebrating around bonfires, in Maharashtra the festival is celebrated by flying kites. Makara Sankranti is an important pan-Indian solar festival, known by different names though observed on the same date, sometimes for multiple dates around the Makar Sankranti, it is known as Pedda Panduga in Andhra Pradesh, Makara Sankranti in Karnataka and Maharashtra, Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Magh Bihu in Assam, Magha Mela in parts of central and north India, as Makar Sankranti in the west, by other names. In some parts of India it is believed. Makara or Makar Sankranti is celebrated in many parts of Indian subcontinent with some regional variations.
It is known by different names and celebrated with different customs in different parts of the region: Suggi Habba, Makara Sankramana, Makara Sankranti: Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana Makara Sankranti or Makara Mela and Makara Chaula: Odisha Thai Pongal, Uzhavar Thirunal: Tamil Nadu Uttarayan: Gujarat Maghi: Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu: Assam Shishur Saenkraat: Kashmir Valley Khichdi: Uttar Pradesh and western Bihar Poush Sangkranti: West Bengal Tila Sakrait: MithilaIn other countries too the day is celebrated by Hindus, but under different names and in different ways. Nepal: Maghe Sankranti or Maghi- /Khichdi Sankranti Bangladesh: Shakrain/ Poush Sangkranti Pakistan: Tirmoori Sri Lanka: ThaiPongal Malaysia: ThaiPongal It is celebrated differently across the Indian subcontinent. Many people take a dip in places like Ganga Sagar Prayag and pray to the Sun God, it is celebrated with pomp in sou
Surya is a Sanskrit word that means the Sun. Synonyms of Surya in ancient Indian literature include Aditya, Bhanu, Pushan, Martanda and Vivasvan. Surya connotes the solar deity in Hinduism in the Saura tradition found in states such as Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha. Surya is one of the five deities considered as equivalent aspects and means to realizing Brahman in the Smarta Tradition. Surya's iconography is depicted riding a chariot harnessed by horses seven in number which represent the seven colours of visible light, seven days in a week. In medieval Hinduism, Surya is an epithet for the major Hindu gods Shiva and Vishnu. In some ancient texts and arts, Surya is presented syncretically with Ganesha or others. Surya as a deity is found in the arts and literature of Buddhism and Jainism. Surya is one of the nine heavenly houses in the zodiac system of Hindu astrology. Surya or Ravi is the basis of Sunday, in the Hindu calendar. Major festivals and pilgrimages in reverence of Surya include Makar Sankranti, Ratha Sapthami, Chath puja and Kumbh Mela.
The oldest surviving Vedic hymns, such as the hymn 1.115 of the Rigveda, mention Sūrya with particular reverence for the "rising sun” and its symbolism as dispeller of darkness, one who empowers knowledge, the good and all life. However, the usage is context specific. In some hymns, the word Surya means sun as an inanimate object, a stone or a gem in the sky; the Vedas assert Sun to be the creator of the material universe. In the layers of Vedic texts, Surya is one of the several trinities along with Agni and either Vayu or Indra, which are presented as an equivalent icon and aspect of the Hindu metaphysical concept called the Brahman. In the Brahmanas layer of Vedic literature, Surya appears with Agni in the same hymns. Surya is revered for the day during the night; the idea evolves, states Kapila Vatsyayan, where Surya is stated to be Agni as the first principle and the seed of the universe. It is in the Brahmanas layer of the Vedas, the Upanishads that Surya is explicitly linked to the power of sight, to visual perception and knowledge.
He is interiorized to be the eye as ancient Hindu sages suggested abandonment of external rituals to gods in favor of internal reflections and meditation of gods within, in one's journey to realize the Atman within, in texts such as the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Chandogya Upanishad, Kaushitaki Upanishad and others. The Mahabharata epic opens its chapter on Surya that reverentially calls him as the "eye of the universe, soul of all existence, origin of all life, goal of the Samkhyas and Yogis, symbolism for freedom and spiritual emancipation. In the Mahabharata, Karna is the son of unmarried princess Kunti; the epic describes Kunti's trauma as an unmarried mother abandonment of Karna, followed by her lifelong grief. Baby Karna is found and adopted by a charioteer but he grows up to become a great warrior and one of the central characters in the great battle of Kurukshetra where he fights his half brothers. Surya is celebrated as a deity such as the ancient works attributed to Ashoka, he appears in a relief at the Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya, riding in a chariot pulled by four horses, with Usha and Prattyusha on his sides.
Such artwork suggests that the Surya as symbolism for the victory of good over evil is a concept adopted in Buddhism from an earlier Indic tradition. Sun is a common deity in ancient and medieval cultures found in South America, Europe and Asia; the features and mythologies of Surya share resemblances with Hvare-khshaeta of pre-Islam Persia, the Helios-Sol deity in the Greek-Roman culture. Surya is a Vedic deity, states Elgood, but its deity status was strengthened from the contacts between ancient Persia and India during the Kushan era, as well as after the 8th-century when Sun-worshipping Parsees moved to India; some Greek features were incorporated into Surya iconography in post-Kushan era, around mid 1st millennium, according to Elgood. The iconography of Surya in Hinduism varies with its texts, he is shown as a resplendent standing person holding lotus flower in both his hands, riding a chariot pulled by one or more horses seven. The seven horses are named after the seven meters of Sanskrit prosody: Gayatri, Ushnih, Trishtubha and Pankti.
The Brihat Samhita, a Hindu text that describes architecture and design guidelines, states that Surya should be shown with two hands and wearing a crown. In contrast, the Vishnudharmottara, another Hindu text on architecture, states Surya iconography should show him with four hands, with flowers in two hands, a staff in third, in fourth he should be shown to be holding writing equipment, his chariot driver in both books is stated to be Aruṇa, seated. Two females flank him, who represent the dawn goddesses named Usha and Pratyusha; the goddesses are shown to be shooting arrows, a symbolism for their initiative to challenge darkness. The iconography of Surya has varied over time. In some ancient arts from the early centuries of the common era, his iconography is similar to those found in Persia and Greece suggesting adoption of Greek and Scythian influences. After the Greek and Kushan influences arrived in ancient India, some Surya icons of the period that followed show him wearing a cloak and high boots.
In some Buddhist artwork, his chariot is shown as being pulle