Significance of Thai Pongal/Makara Vilakku/Makara Sankranthi
Makara Vilakku Puja is a very important function commemorating the Sthapanam (Enshrinement) of the Vigraham of Lord Ayyappa at the Sabarimala Temple on Makara Shankaranthi day, which coincides with the day on which the Sun is in Summer Solstice (vernal equinox). The other spectacular event is the appearance of Makarajyothi in the north-east horizon on Ponnambala Medu. Chants of Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa reverberate as the devotees turn ecstatic on the strange occurrence. According to the Puranas, Lord Ayyappa appeared on earth in order to destroy the evil Asuri Mahishi - sister of Mahishasura. In this aspect of God, He has the power of both Vishnu (Hari) and Shiva (Hara), and as such is also known as HariHaraputra. Makara Sankaranthi Puja celebrates the coming of the Lord who blesses all devotees. Makara Vilakku is being celebrated on Sunday for the convenience of devotees.