Makar Sankranti is the first festival of a New Year, which usually celebrated with great fervor throughout the India. Though it is celebrated with different names and traditions but the purpose is remains same in all forms. It is considered as one of the most auspicious day among Hindus. It also marks the transit of Sun from Dakshinayana to Uttarayana.
Time to Celebrate:
The day of Makar Sakranti falls on 14th of January every year, according to solar calendar.
It is observed that on the Makar Sakranti day, Sun enters into the Capricorn rashi within its transit way and believed very auspicious. On this day people take a holy dip at Prayag and Ganga Sagar and worship Sun. Makar Sankranti festival holds special significance according to the solar calendar as the day and night are of exactly equal duration on this day. For the people of northern hemisphere, the northward path of the sun marks the period when the sun is getting closer to them. This signifies that the days will get longer and warmer after Makar Sankranti.
In some states like Rajasthan, Gujarat , the tradition of kite flying is observes which adds extra zeal among the people. In Uttar Pradesh, Sankrant is called ‘Khichiri’ whereas in Punjab,the eve of Makar Sankranti is celebrated as ‘Lohri’ in which bonfires are lit and people make merry.
In Maharashtra, there is a custom to exchange a sweet preparation called ’til-polis’ as a token of love whereas in South, Sankranti festival is known by the name of ‘Pongal’. It is very popular festival of farmers, where new crops are ready to cultivate.
The day is very significant also for various kinds of donations, contributions and endowments towards the welfare of poor, animals and unhealthy people for seeking charity.