Hindu Of Universe

“God’s light is within you, It never leaves you.”

Makar Sankranti is also known as Maghi, is an ancient Indian festival that has been observed according to solar cycles, while most festivals are set according to the lunar cycle of the Hindu calendar.

Hindu devotees dedicate this festival to the God Sun (Surya), as the Sun begins to move towards the North from the southern hemisphere.

 According to Hindu scriptures, Uttarayan is considered to be a symbol of positivity and prosperity.

This auspicious festival is observed each year in the lunar month of Magha which corresponds with the month of January as per the English calendar.

Indian astrologers describe Makar Sankranti as a celestial event due to the Sun’s transit into Makara Rashi (Capricorn), and the end of the winter solstice as well as starting of bright longer days.

According to ancient scholars, the celebration of this auspicious day started around 300 AD in the Gangetic plains of India.

As per the teachings of Hindu sacred books, Makar Sankranti is considered an important day for spiritual practices.

Devotees take a dip in holy rivers, like Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri, and Sarayu.

The bathing is believed to result in the absolution of all accumulated sins.

They also offer water and pray to the Sun God and express gratitude for successes and prosperity.

After every twelve years, the Hindus observe Makar Sankranti with one of the world’s largest mass pilgrimages known as Kumbha Mela, with an estimated 100 million people attending the grand festival.

On this holy day, they worship Lord Sun after taking bath at the Prayaga confluence of three rivers: Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswathi.

As a traditional practice, Hindus of India and Nepal prepare sweets particularly from sesame (til)

and jaggery (gud/ gur).

All members of a family celebrate this festival together, visiting the houses of a near and dear one, by flying kites as well as dancing and singing around bonfires.

Indians celebrate Makar Sankranti by different names: Makara Sankranti is an important Hindu festival which is celebrated differently in various cultures.

People living in different parts of India celebrate this colorful festival with different names, such as:

Maghi (preceded by Lohri) in Punjab – Punjabis celebrates this grand festival by bathing in a river in the early hours of Magh.

Hindus light lamps with sesame oil as a sign of prosperity.

They conduct a major fair in all Gurudwaras and distribute food to people from all religions.

They sing and dance bhangra.

Delhi and Haryana Most of the families prepare churma, halwa, puri, and kheer on this day.

As an age-old tradition, brother of every married woman visits her home with a special gift, some warm clothes for his sister and other members of her family.

Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh – These states celebrate this auspicious festival by flying colorful kites.

On this occasion, the skies of these regions are filled with kites, and youngsters engage in contests trying to cut each other’s strings.

People like to cook or buy special delicacies and sweets like pheeni (with sweet milk), til-paati, gajak, kheer, ghevar, pakodi, puwa, and til-laddoo on this occasion.

Uttar Pradesh and Bihar – Here the festival is known as Khichdi.

On this holy day, people of these states donate Urad, rice, gold, woolen clothes, blankets, etc to the needy.

Odisha, Karnataka, Maharashtra – People of these states celebrate this auspicious festival with worship to God Sun while taking a holy bath before sunrise.

Especially, the women of this region observe a ritual in which they donate cotton, oil, and sweets to other married women on their first Sankrant.

Tamil Nadu and other parts of South India – They celebrate this grand festival with another name called Pongal for four days.

Significance: Makar Sankranti is a popular pan-Indian solar festival.

However, the significance and the sentiment attached to the festival vary depending on tradition and legends associated with it.

According to Vedic beliefs, God Sun begins its northward journey or Uttarayan journey (northern hemisphere), known as Devayana (the day of the devatas) from Dakshinayan which is called Pitriyan (the night of the devatas) on this auspicious day of Makar Sankranti.

On this day, the Sun enters the zodiac sign of Capricorn (Makar) which marks the beginning of auspicious activities and the end of difficult winter months.

Therefore, Makar Sankranti marks the beginning of an auspicious phase, and a lot of auspicious events like marriage, new business, and philanthropic activities are done during this period.

Legends of Makar Sankranti:

Hindu texts describes that on this day the Sun God visit the house of his son, Saturn who is the ruler of the Makar Rashi.

The father-son duo does not share a good relation.

However, it is the responsibility of Lord Shani to take good care of his father.

Hence, people celebrate this day with all family members which signify the importance of responsibilities.

According to another legend, Sankranti is deemed a deity. On this auspicious day, Goddess Sankranti killed a devil named Sankarasur.

Thus, people started celebrating this day as the end of negativity and evil in life and the beginning of an era of righteous living.

According to the epic of Mahabharata (3102 BC), people in that era used to consider Makar Sankranti as an auspicious day.

A plot from Mahabharat explains that the great warrior Pitamah Bhishma fell to the arrows of his grandson Arjuna on the Kurukshetra battlefield.

After lying on the bed of arrows for almost a month, he chose the day of Makar Sankranti to leave his mortal body, so that he can attain salvation.

That is why Hindus believe that those who die on this day will attain Moksha or salvation.

Summary: Makar Sankranti is one of the few ancient Indian festivals that has been observed according to the solar cycle of Hindu Pachanga.

People from different regions largely celebrate this grand festival on the same date but with different names.

It is observed with social festivities such as colorful decorations, kite flying, donation of food, clothes and other items to the needy.

Vedic scriptures explain that it is one of the most auspicious days to organize all types of activities for a fruitful beginning.

Makar Sankranti

Makar Sankranti is a Hindu festival and the day is dedicated to worshiping Lord Surya. Know the significance of Makar Sankranti, its history, why is celebrated here, and more.

The festival marks the day the sun transits into Makara Rashi or Capricorn zodiac.

As per the solar calendar, it falls on 14 January every year.

The festival also marks the end of winter and the beginning of a new harvest season. It has both seasonal and religious significance.

It is considered one of the most auspicious days of the Hindu calendar.

Why is Makar Sankranti celebrated?

Sankranti day is dedicated to Lord Sun. It also refers to a specific solar day in the Hindu calendar. On this auspicious day, the sun enters the zodiac sign of Capricorn or Makar which marks the end of winter months and the beginning of longer days.

This is the beginning of the month of Magh.

To recompense for the distinction that happens due to the revolution around the sun, every 80 years the day of Sankranti is deferred by one day.

From the day of Makar Sankranti, the sun begins its northward journey or Uttarayan journey.

Therefore, this festival is also known as Uttarayan. 

On this day, farmers across the country wish for a good harvest.

Makar Sankranti History

Sankranti is deemed a Deity. As per the legend, Sankranti killed a devil named Sankarasur. The day next to Makar Sankrant is called Karidin or Kinkrant. On this day, Devi slew the devil Kinkarasur. The information of Makar Sankranti is available in Panchang. The Panchang is the Hindu Almanac that provides information on the age, form, clothing, direction, and movement of Sankranti.

The time between Makar Sankranti and 40 Ghatis (roughly 16 hours for Indian locations if we consider 1 Ghati duration as 24 minutes) from the time of Makar Sankranti is considered good for auspicious work.

This duration of forty Ghatis is known as Punya Kaal. Sankranti activities, like taking bath, offering Naivedhya (food offered to deity) to Lord Surya, offering charity or Dakshina, performing Shraddha rituals, and breaking fast or Parana, should be done during Punya Kaal. If Makar Sankranti happens after Sunset then all Punya Kaal activities are postponed till the next Sunrise.

Therefore, all Punya Kaal activities should be done in the daytime.”

Makar Sankranti Significance

Makar Sankranti is the date from which the northward movement of the sun begins.

The period from Karka Sankranti to Makar Sankranti is known as the Dakshinayan.

Significance of Makar Sankranti

According to the scriptures, Dakshinayan symbolizes the night of god or the sign of negativity, and Uttarayan is considered as a symbol of the day of God or a sign of positivity.

Since on this day, the sun starts its journey towards the north so, people take a holy dip in Ganga, Godavari, Krishna, Yamuna River at holy places, chant mantras, etc.

Normally the sun affects all the zodiac signs, but it is said that the entry of the sun in the zodiac sign of Cancer and Capricorn religiously is very fruitful.

Before Makar Sankranti, the sun is in the Southern Hemisphere.

For this reason, in India, in winter nights are longer and days are smaller.

But with the Makar Sankranti, the sun starts its journey towards Northern Hemisphere and so, days will be longer and nights smaller.

On the occasion of Makar Sankranti, people express their gratitude towards the people of India throughout the year by worshiping the sun God in various forms. Any meritorious deeds or donations during this period establish more fruitful.

Performing Haldi Kumkum ceremony in a way that invokes the waves of quiescent Adi – Shakti in the Universe to get triggered.

This helps in generating an impression of Sagun devotion on the mind of a person & enhances the Spiritual emotion to God.

In different regions of the country, Makar Sankranti is celebrated by different names

Lohri: One day before Makar Sankranti, Lohri is celebrated in India with enthusiasm mainly in Haryana and Punjab.

At night, people gather around the bonfire and throw til, puffed rice & popcorns into the flames of the bonfire.

Prayers are offered to the bonfire seeking abundance & prosperity.

 Festival of Donation “or” Khichdi “: In Uttar Pradesh, it is mainly the festival of ‘Donation’. The Magh fair, which continues for one month on the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati in Allahabad, starts from the day of Makar Sankranti only.

On this auspicious day, people fast in Uttar Pradesh eat and offer khichdi. Also, Khichdi Mela is organized at Gorakhdham in Gorakhpur.

In Bihar, the Makar Sankranti festival is known as Khichdi. On this day, donating urad, rice, gold, woolen clothes, blankets, etc. have its own importance.

In Maharashtra, all married women donate cotton, oil, and salt to other suhagin or married women on their first Sankrant.

In Bengal, there is a tradition of donating til after taking bath on Makar Sankrant. A huge fair is also organized every year in Gangasagar.

Pongal: On the occasion of Makar Sankranti in Tamil Nadu, this festival is celebrated as Pongal for four days.

Kite Festival: In Gujarat, the kite festival is organized on the occasion of Makar Sankranti.

Therefore, in India, the Makar Sankranti festival has its own importance.

It is celebrated in various States by different names. 

So now you may have come to know the history of Makar Sankranti and how is it celebrated.

Significance of Makar Sankranti:

Why is it celebrated in different states in India?

Makar Sankranti is an Indian festival celebrated by several states of India around mid-January.

Tamil Nadu celebrates Pongal at the same time while Punjab celebrates Lohri at this time.

While this is when all the different states celebrate their harvest festivals, true to India’s diverse traditions, each one has its own customs and practices.

Who celebrates Makar Sankranti?

This festival is celebrated in Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Rajasthan. There are variations of this festival across India and around Asia.

State/Country                 Festival

West Bengal & North East    Pousha Sankranti

Tamil Nadu                       Thai Pongal

Kerala          Makara Vilakku

Assam and North East                        Magh Bihu

Gujarat        Vasi Uttarayan

Punjab         Maghi

Nepal           Maaghe Sankrant

Thailand      Songkran

Cambodia  Mohan Songkran

Origin and significance of Makar Sankranti: Why Makar Sankranti is celebrated

Makara’ means ‘Capricorn’.

The movement of the sun into ‘Makara Raashi’ or the ‘zodiac of Capricorn’ is called Makar Sankranti.

This festival marks the end of the long, cold, winter months and the onset of spring.

In ancient times, it was the time when the shift of the sun resulted in longer days.

So, it is a celebration of the change of seasons – from a harsher to a milder climate.

A sign of hope and positivity.

This festival is celebrated in honor of Surya (the Sun God) to pay tribute for the grace of his energy that has enabled life and food on earth.

As it is the harvest festival, it is a time of joy, abundance, and celebration in the farming communities, the time when they reap the fruits of their hard labor.

It is also a time for peace when families bury the hatchet and get together.

There are twelve Sankrantis in a year.

These are twelve days in a year when the Sun moves from one constellation to another.

From Makar Sankranti, the Sun starts moving towards the North direction which is also known as Uttarayana.

Uttarayana is regarded as the period of Divinity.

Although the entire year is considered auspicious, this period is considered slightly more auspicious.

Legend of Makar Sankranti

In some regions, it is believed that Sankranti is a deity and she killed Sankarasur. The day after, the deity killed another asura (demon) called Kinkarasur. This is why this day is known as Kinkrant.

Since Makar Sankranti is celebrated in different states, there are different traditions in each state. Let’s explore the traditions of five states across India.

1. Maharashtra

Makar Sankranti is celebrated over three days in Maharashtra. People clean their houses, wear new clothes, and invite family and friends to visit them.

Day 1: Bhogi – Maharashtrians pray to the Sun God on this day; they also fly colorful kites together.

Day 2: Married women exchange haldi-kumkum (turmeric powder and vermillion), applying it on each other’s foreheads. They also exchange gifts.

Day 3: Kinkrant – This is the day Devi defeated a demon called Kinkarasur.

You might have heard Maharashtrians say this during Makar Sankranti:

‘Tilgul ghya goad bola’ – in literal translation, it means, ‘Take sweet, talk sweet, be sweet.’

This famous Marathi phrase means, ‘Take this sweet made of til (sesame seeds) and gul/gud (jaggery) and speak sweetly.’ It implies that we should give up our grudges and live harmoniously together.

It is a time for forgiveness and togetherness.

So, even if there are differences, the festival is a good time to forgive, forget, and move on.

Sesame seed is black on the outside, and white on the inside.

The message it gives us is, ‘Maintain purity inside’.

If you scrub the sesame seed, it becomes white outside also.

We are like a sesame seed with respect to this universe.

If you see, what is our significance in this universe, what is life? Next to nothing, like a sesame seed – a mere speck! We are minuscule.

We are tiny and sweet; delightful like sesame seeds with jaggery.

So, stay small and sweet and you will truly become big. – Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Makar Sankranti food items: Multi-colored halwa, pooran poli (flat bread stuffed with jaggery and gram flour in it, served with pure ghee), and til-gul laddoo (sesame seed and jaggery balls) are the special delicacies prepared on this festival day.

2. Goa

Makar Sankranti is known as Sankrant in Goa.

Women pray to Goddess Lakshmi Maa (Goddess of Wealth), and observe a 12-day haldi-kumkum (turmeric powder and vermillion) festival, where they apply these sacred powders on each other’s foreheads.

They also put flowers on each other’s heads and exchange gifts – usually household items.

Five leaf plates are offered to God with rice, chana dal (Bengal gram), jaggery, and coconut – one each for the deity and family, two for the crows (believed to be our ancestors); the last one is shown to all the corners of the house to ward off evil spirits.

Only the one meant for the family is eaten.

The ones meant for the deity and the corners are disposed of.

This festival ends on Ratha Saptami – the day the temple deity is taken around the village in a rath (chariot). In the end, married women give coconuts, rice, and flowers to the temple.

Newlywed women offer five clay pots filled with newly-harvested food grains to the temple deity. These pots have black-beaded threads tied around them

Here, people distribute sugar-coated til sweets. Like their Maharashtrian and Kannadiga counterparts, Goans wish each other, ‘Til gull gheiat, godd uloiat’ meaning, ‘Eat sesame sweets and jaggery, and sweeten your talk.’

Makar Sankranti food items: Delicacies with rice, chana dal (Bengal gram), jaggery, and coconut are prepared on these festival days.

3. Karnataka

Makar Sankranti is celebrated in Karnataka with great joy and enthusiasm.

People clean their houses, decorate the entrance with mango leaves and rangolis (decorative designs made with rice flour), and wear new clothes.

They exchange ellu-bella (sesame seeds and jaggery) sweets, fried groundnuts, pieces of coconut, sugarcane, and banana, offer haldi and kumkum, and wish each other.

Kannadigas also wish their near and dear ones the same way their Marathi neighbors do: ‘Ellu Bella tindhu olle mathadu’.

 It means, ‘Eat the ellu (sesame seeds) and bella (jaggery) sweet, and speak sweet words.’

Some newlywed women follow a five-year ritual where they give away bananas to other married women.

They have to increase the number of bananas they give away each year in multiples of five.

People also decorate cows and bulls colorfully with beautiful costumes.

Some communities fly kites as well.

Makar Sankranti food items: Ellu bella (sesame seed and jaggery balls), sweet pongal, payasa (sweet pudding), lemon rice and vadas are part of the sumptuous feast cooked on this day.

It is a wonderful occasion to meet family and friends.

4. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

Makar Sankranti is celebrated over four days in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

People wear new clothes, thank the Sun God for the year’s harvest, and prepare elaborate feasts on this occasion.

Elaborate rangoli or muggu or decorative designs are drawn in front of houses with chalk or flour.

These are further decorated with flowers and cow dung (particularly in villages).

Cockfights and bullfights were common sports of this season though they have now been banned.

Day 1: Bhogi Panduga – On this day, people burn old and unrequired articles in a bonfire that they light with old wood and furniture. The idea is to start afresh, ushering in the new.

Day 2: Pedda Panduga – This is the main festival day. People arrange feasts for guests and pay respects to ancestors.

Day 3: Kanuma Panduga – On this day, farmers honor and worship cattle, especially the cow. Girls of the community lovingly decorate and feed them.

Day 4: Mukkanuma – On this day, farmers pay tribute to the natural elements like fire, earth, and rain that enabled the harvest. People also fly kites together.

A unique feature of Sankranti in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana is that haridasus (devotees of Hari or Lord Vishnu) go from house to house singing songs of the Lord.

Makar Sankranti food items: Various savories such as poornalu (sweet made of rice flour covering stuffed with dal and jaggery paste), chakkara pongal (sweet pongal), rice kheer (pudding) and appalu (a sweet made of jaggery and rice flour) are prepared on this special day.

Makar Sankranti celebrations during the pandemic

Makar Sankranti,  might be a little different compared to the previous years.

While fairs and large gatherings are not advised at this time, it is still possible to follow some traditions like decorating the house with flowers and rangoli, preparing special delicacies, having small gatherings with family and friends, and wishing each other wholeheartedly, which is the essence of every festival after all! You can also enjoy kite-flying as it is one of those sports where social distancing can be followed!

5. Rajasthan

Makar Sankranti is celebrated in Rajasthan with a lot of fervor and excitement.

fter several months of bitter cold, as the sun shifts toward the Northern Hemisphere, it is time to honor the sun for its bounty and beneficence.

Some people bathe in holy rivers in spiritual places near their places of residence.

Women in some communities gift household articles such as food or makeup to other married women.

Newlyweds are invited by the girl’s parents on the first Sankranti after marriage for a feast called Sankrant Bhoj.

Like all other states, Rajasthan also has a tradition of kite-flying.

In fact, Sankranti is almost synonymous with the kite-flying festival here.

Families and friends gather on terraces and roofs and fly kites together.

Colorful kites of different shapes, sizes, and colors.

made of leaves and paper speck the sky.

Cities such as Jaipur and Jodhpur host kite war competitions wherein people have to cut the kite strings of other kite flyers and bring them down!

They also fly illuminated kites known as ‘tukals’, which are essentially sky lanterns, at night time.

Makar Sankranti food items: Til laddoos (sesame seed balls), moongphali (peanuts), gajak (sesame seed, peanuts, and jaggery sweet), dal pakodi (fried moong dal snack), and gajar ka halwa (carrot pudding) are some of the delicious snacks made on this day.

On Makar Sankranti, we exchange sesame seeds & jaggery.

The tiny sesame seeds remind us of our insignificance in this vast creation. The feeling that ‘I am nothing’ dissolves the ego & brings humility. Jaggery is a symbol of spreading sweetness

States like Uttarakhand have Uttarayani fairs, where they showcase their cultural songs, dances, and games, and in Madhya Pradesh, people dip in holy waters in Ujjain on this day.

While each state has unique traditions during Makar Sankranti, the spirit with which the festival is celebrated is the same – integration, thoughtfulness, and joyousness.

These are apparent in the common customs that are followed – gatherings of family and friends, the spreading of good wishes, and sharing of delicacies.

Makar Sankranti

Makar Sankranti is a holiday dedicated to the sun god, Surya, and is the celebration of the sun entering the zodiac sign of Capricorn or Makar which marks the end of the winter and the start of longer days.

Although Makar Sankranti traditions are a little different in the different regions of India, the general celebration is the same.

On this holiday, people will worship the sun god, Surya, by going to temples and taking a cleansing bath in the Ganges River.

People also often eat sweets made of jaggery and sesame and participate in the kite festival.

Makar Sankranti is called various names throughout India.

It is known as Maghi in North India, Sukarat in central India, Magh Bihu in Assam, and Pongal in Tamil Nadu.

 Many other Indian states also call it Makara Sankranti.

Why You Should Experience Makar Sankranti in India

  • Watch the burning of temporary huts called Meji and Bhelaghar in Assam.
  • Savor the abundance of sweets and desserts made of jaggery and sesame such as laddoo and halwa that are served during this festival.
  • Participate in the fun of the International Kite Festival in Gujarat.
  • Visit the Ganga Mela fair in West Bengal which is an annual gathering of pilgrims where you can witness many devotees participating in the tradition of bathing in the river.
  • Watch the Jallikatu ritual in Tamil Nadu, where participants attempt to jump onto the back of a bull while it attempts to escape.

Makar Sankranti

Makar Sankranti, also known as Maghi or Makara Sankranti, is an important Hindu festival and celebrates the sun’s journey back into the northern hemisphere which is considered to be a highly positive event.

Makar Sankranti is marks the first day when the sun is transiting into Capricorn, also known as Makara in Hindi.

It also marks the end of the month of the winter solstice and when the days begin to get longer and the warmth returns.

This festival is dedicated to Surya, the sun god.

On this day, many devotees visit temples early in the morning after a ritual bath in the Ganges and pray to Surya for blessings for the whole family.

During this festival, India’s biggest fair, Ganga Sagar Mela, is held in West Bengal.

This fair is an annual gathering of pilgrims who come to perform several rituals including lighting lamps and chanting.

Thousands of pilgrims will also wash themselves in the holy waters of the Ganges River to purify their souls.

When is Makar Sankranti

Makar Sankranti is one of the few ancient Indian festivals that is observed according to solar cycles while the dates of most Hindu festivals are set by the lunar calendar.

This festival almost always falls on January 14, except in certain years when the date shifts by just one day.

Makar Sankranti Legends and History

The constellation of Makara or Capricorn directly related to Saturn and on Makar Sankranti the sun enters into the sight of Saturn.

One of the major legends surrounding the festival say that the sun is the father of Saturn.

According to Hindu mythology, the sun who is the father and Saturn, his son, do not get along well.

But on Makar Sankranti, the father goes to meet his son.

Both Saturn and Sun are mighty planets whose blessings are believed to allow humans to achieve great success.

Because of this, on Makar Sankranti, people pray to both the sun and Saturn.

Another legend around this holiday focuses on one of the characters in the Mahabharata, Bhishma, who died during this time.

Bhishma was killed when he was pierced with the arrows of Arjuna on the battleground of Kurukshetra.

Bhishma was blessed by the gods with the power to choose his time of death so he decided to wait on a bed of arrows until the day of Makar Sankranti because it is believed that those who die during this period have no rebirth.

The last legend of Makar Sankranti says that on the day of the holiday, King Bhagirath bathed in the holy Ganges River in order to free his ancestors form a curse.

Because of this, Makar Sankranti is also considered to be a day where people can be freed of suffering and pain.

How Makar Sankranti Is Celebrated

Makara Sankranti is a holiday that is important for spiritual practices.

On this day, people will take a dip in holy rivers such as the Ganges, Yamuna, Godavari, Krishna, and Kaveri to cleanse themselves of sins.

Many people also perform a prayer to the sun as thanks for their success and prosperity.

Another shared cultural practice that takes place during this holiday is making traditional sweets from sesame and jaggery.

This type of sweet is symbolizes being together in peace and joy, despite the differences between individuals.

It is also believed that consuming sesame can help a person with inner purification.


Makar Sankranti is celebrated as Suggi in Karnataka and is a harvest festival for farmers.

On this day, girls will wear new clothes to visit their dear ones with a plate containing white sesame seeds mixed with fried groundnuts, dried coconut, candy molds, and jaggery.

This festival signifies celebrates the harvest season of sugarcane which is the predominant crop in this area.

In some parts of Karnataka, newly married women are required to give bananas to married women every year for five years on this day.

The number of bananas given increases in multiples of five every year.

In northern Karnataka, community kite flying is another popular tradition.Andhra Pradesh

Makar Sankranti is celebrated for four days in Andhra Pradesh.

The day before the actual festival is called Bhoghi which is celebrated by the throwing away of their old items to help bring about change or transformation.

At dawn on the next day, people gather to light a bonfire that burns on wood, solid fuels, and wooden furniture that is no longer useful.

On the day of the actual festival, it is a tradition to wear new clothes, pray to the sun, and make offerings of traditional food to ancestors.

The third day is known as Kanuma and is very special for farmers because it is the day to showcasing their cattle and honor them as cattle are symbols of prosperity. Girls also feed animals, birds, and fish on this day as a symbol of sharing wealth.

The fourth day is called Mukkanuma and is the day when people are allowed to eat meat again because they are not allowed to during the first three days of the festival. On this day, it is also popular to go outside and fly kites.


In Maharashtra, there is a popular tradition of exchanging multicolored halwa (a sugary sweet coated in syrup) and til-gul laddoo (sweets made from sesame seeds and jaggery).

 This is done to symbolize forgetting past ill-feelings and resolving to speak sweetly and remain friends.

Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu also celebrates Makar Sankranti as the holiday Pongal which lasts for four days.

The first day of festival, Boghi, is celebrated by throwing away and destroying old clothes and materials by setting them on fire.

This marks the end of the old and the emergence of the new.

The second day of the festival is called Thai Pongal and is celebrated by making a dessert called Pongal that is made by boiling rice with fresh milk and jaggery then topping it with brown sugar, cashew nuts, and raisins.

This is done early in the morning and the mixture is traditionally allowed to boil over.

The Pongal dessert is then offered to the Sun God to give thanks for the prosperity of the harvest. It is later eaten by family and friends.

The third day is called Maattu Pongal and focuses on offering thanks to cattle.

The cattle are decorated with paint, flowers, and bells and are allowed to roam free and fed sweet rice and sugar cane.

In some places and event called Jallikattu, or the running of bulls ritual is also held.

The last day is called Kaanum Pongal during which people visit their relatives and friends to enjoy the festive season.

Learn more about Pongal and how it is celebrated in Tamil Nadu.

Where to Celebrate Makar Sankranti in India

These are some of the best places to see the celebrations of Makar Sankranti. In Assam, you will get to see the burning of temporary huts called Meji and Bhelaghar.

In Gujarat, people participate in the International Kite Festival. In Punjab, check out the famous bhangra dances.


In Assam, the celebration of Makar Sankranti is known as Magh Bihu and is a festival marked by feasts and bonfires.

During the celebrations, young people erect temporary huts, known as Meji and Bhelaghar, from materials such as bamboo, leaves, and thatch. They will then eat the food prepared for the feast and burn the huts the next morning.

Assamese games such as tekeli bhonga or pot-breaking and buffalo fighting are also featured during this festival.


Uttarayan, as Makar Sankranti is called in Gujarati, is celebrated for two days.

The people of this central state excitedly await this festival for the chance to fly kites called patang in the International Kite Festival.

Kites here are made of special light-weight paper and bamboo and the string often contains abrasives to cut down other people’s kites.

On the day of the festival, the skies are filled with thousands of kites as people enjoy two full days of kite flying.

The goal of the game is to be the last kite left flying and to cut down the other kites.

This festival is a fun event to watch and to participate in.

There is also a friendly kite-flying zone organized by the city for those who don’t want their kites cut.


In Punjab, Makar Sankranti is known as Maghi.

During the celebrations, you will see many Hindu devotees bathing in rivers in the early morning and lighting lamps filled with sesame oil as this is supposed to bring prosperity.

In the evening, everyone gets together to participate in a folk dance called bhangra.

They then sit and eat a large meal that includes food such as kheer (rice cooked in milk and sugarcane juice) and khichdi (a dish made of rice and lentils), that are specially prepared for the occasion.

How to Celebrate Makar Sankranti as a Traveler

The kite festival is an activity that every traveler must participate in to celebrate Makar Sankranti.

Many people will gather around in an open field and fly their kites of different designs and colors.

This is a great opportunity to interact with locals and make friends.

Travelers should also make sure to try the delicious traditional food that is served during this festival.

Most of the food will be sweets and desserts such as kheer and laddoos.

You can find these dishes at many restaurants, markets, and street food vendors across the country.

Tips for Experiencing Makar Sankranti

  • If you are participating in the kite festival, make sure to not fly them in narrow spaces or terrace borders. The kite strings can be sharp and cut others.
  • Dress in warm clothing as it may still be very cold during the festival, especially in North India.

Makar Sankranti

Makar Sankranti is celebrated in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh as a festival of flying kites.

Also the first day of spring. People celebrate by eating til laddus and taking out their trendiest kites.


Makara literally means ‘Capricorn’ and Sankranti is the day when the sun passes from one sign of the zodiac to the next.

The Sankranti of any month is considered auspicious as it signifies afresh start.

However Makara Sankranti is celebrated in the month of Magha when the sun passes through the winter solstice, from the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn.

This feast is celebrated on January 14th, and is the only feast of the Indian calendar which is not celebrated on a fixed day of the lunar month.

On this day the sun enters the constellation of Makar (Croco-dile) and begins to move towards the north.

Throughout the year the sun passes through twelve constellations: Mesh (Ram, Aries), Vrishabh (Bull, Taurus), Mithun (Couple, Gemini), Kark (Crab, Cancer), 5mb (Lion, Leo), Kanya (Girl, Virgo), Tula (Balance, Libra), Vrishchik (Scorpion), Dhanu (Bow, Saggitarius), Makar (Crocodile, Capricorn), Kumbh (Wateijar, Aquarius), Mm (Fish, Pisces).

When the sun does not cross any constellation then there is an extra month called “Adhik Mas”.

The crossing of the Makar constellation takes place in the month of Paush.

“Tilgul”, Symbol of Friendship On this day people eat “Khichadi” made of rice and dal.

The Paush month is also known as Dhundhur Mas and people eat “bajari” bread mixed with “til” (Sesamum).

On the feast of Sankrant “til” is given great importance, for in this season it is considered to have special nutritive and medicinal qualities. “Til” is a very oil-giving seed.

Mixed with jaugari or sugar it becomes a very sticky sweet which people exchange with one another as a sign of friendship.

“Tilgul ghya, god bola.” (“Take tilgul and speak sweetly”) is the phrase on everybody’s lips.

With this good social custom enmities are forgotten and new friendships started. People are encouraged to emulate the quality of “Tilgul” and stick to-gether in permanent union and love.

On this day ladies apply “halad-kumkum” (turmeric powder) on each other’s forehead, and children fly kites.

Many people take bath at Prayag, near Allahabad, at the meeting point of the Ganges and the Yamuna.

Makara Sankranti is also celebrated throughout India as a harvest festival. It is a way of giving thanks to the elements of nature that help man. This is the period when the winter recedes, paving the way for the summer.

It is the time the farmers bring home their harvest. In the coast al regions, it is a harvest festival dedicated to Indra.

In Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, it is celebrated as a three-day harvest festival Pongal.

In Assam, the festival is celebrated as Bhogali Bihu, and in Punjab it is called Lohri.

In North India, a ritual bath in the river is important on this day.

In fact, bathing is considered mandatory on this day, and according to a popular local belief in the hills of Uttar Pradesh, one who does not bathe on Makara Sankranti is born a donkey in his next birth.

The belief probably originated in cold climates to compel some of the more reluctant people to observe certain rules of hygiene.

 A big fair is held at the confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna and the Sarasvati rivers at Triveni in Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh) on this occasion.

Being the month of Magha, this fair is also called Magha Mela. Apart from Triveni, ritual bathing also takes place at many places like Haridvar and Garh Mukteshwar in Uttar Pradesh, and Patna in Bihar.Makar Sankranti A Harvest Festival Of Gratitude

Makar Sankranti or Khichri: One of the auspicious festival celebrated with piquancy on 14th January every year across India. Makar Sankranti observed with various names in different regions of India, i.e. Pongal in Tamil, Lohri in Punjab.

Uttarayan in Gujrat. Maghi and Khichdi are some other names of the same festival.

The celebration of this providential festival starts with taking a dip in the holy river Ganges For the cleanliness of sins.

It is also believed that the duration of days and nights are equal on Makar Sankranti.

The significance of Makar Sankranti

Astrological significance of Makar Sankranti

The word Makar denotes the zodiac Symbol Makar Rashi (Capricorn) and Sankranti means transition.

The sun transits in to Makar Rashi from Dhanu Raashi (Sagitarious) every year in winter season.

 Makara Sankranthi is a festivals which fall on the same date in the Gregorian calendar every year:

14th January, Exceptionally the festival is celebrated on 13th or 15th January.

As per the Hindu calendar Makar Sankranti is celebrated at Magh 1st of Hindu Solar Calendar and after the harvesting of crops.

Religious Importance

There is a huge religious significance of Makar Sankranti.

Hindu worships sun after ritual bathing in holy Ganga or Triveni Sangam (Confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati) on this occasion.

This is propitious period to start auspicious activities. Get virtue by offering Daan (Donation) to some one who really deserve.

Sankranti Calendar

Makar Sankranti is four days festivity period which is dedicated to Lord Sun. All rituals during Makar Sankranti are gestures of thanksgiving to natural resources which make life possible on the Earth.

The Sun God is worshipped for bestowing good harvest and nurturing livestock.

The cattle especially bulls and oxen are worshipped for their significance in traditionally ploughing fields.

Makar Sankranti is celebrated throughout India. In North India people take holy dip in Ganga on Makar Sankranti day.

Thousands of people throng Hindu pilgrimage places like Haridwar, Banaras and Allahabad to take holy dip in Ganga. It is believed that holy dip in Ganga on Sankranti purges all sins committed by the person.

Makar Sankranti is also the main bathing day at Ganga Sagar Mela which is held near Kolkata. Sikh community especially in Punjab and Haryana celebrates Lohri one day before Sankranti.

Makar Sankranti is known as Uttarayan in Gujarat. Uttarayan is a significant festival in Gujarat which lasts for two days.

The main day of Makar Sankranti is known as Uttarayan and the next day of Uttarayan is known as Vasi Uttarayan or stale Uttarayan.

The day is considered highly auspicious and is dedicated to Lord Surya.

In Tamil Nadu people celebrate Makar Sankranti as Pongal. Pongal is celebrated for four days but the most important day of Pongal festivity is known as Thai Pongal and it is celebrated on Makar Sankranti day.

Thai Pongal is followed by Mattu Pongal and Kaanum Pongal.

The day before Thai Pongal is known as Bhogi.

In Andhra Pradesh, similar to Tamil Nadu, Makar Sankranti is celebrated for four days.

The day before Sankranti is known as Bhogi Pandigai.

The main Sankranti day is known as Pedda Panduga, which is followed by Kanuma Panduga and Mukkanuma.

In Kerala, the most important event on Makar Sankranti is Makaravilakku.

The world famous Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple celebrates Sankranti during evening by lighting Makaravilakku.

 Makaravilakku is artificial light that is created three times at a distant hill.

Thousands of devotees wait for Makaravilakku as it symbolizes celestial lighting at Sabarimala Hills.

Makar Sankranti Puja Vidhi

  • Take a wooden chowki and splash some Gangajal in order to purify and cleanse it.
  • Place the Kalash on to of the wooden chowki.
  • Place the idol of the lord you are praying to. For example Lord Ganesha, Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu etc.
  • Light an oil lamp or a candle in front of the deities.
  • Sprinkle some Gangajal on the deities too.
  • Begin the puja now by remembering Lord Ganesha and seeking his blessings.
  • Offer haldi, chandan, kumkum, durva grass, flowers, incense and a fruit to the god.
  • Chant the Ganesha Gayatri Mantra
  • End your puja by performing an aarti and distribute the prasad among family, loved ones and the needy.