Celebrated on the 14th or 15th of January every year, Makar Sankranti marks the onset of longer and warmer days bidding adieu to the winter chill. It marks the beginning of the ascent of The Sun into the northern hemisphere and is celebrated by the Hindus with a lot of pomp and galore.

Makar Sankranti 2021 is on January 14, Thursday

Makar Sankranti 2020 was on January 15, Wednesday

Image Source: IANS

The Astronomy behind Makar Sankranti

Makar Sankranti is symbolic of the change of planetary houses that the Sun makes by shifting from Saggitarius to Capricorn during this time of the year. Although Indian festivals are based on the lunar calendar, Makar Sankranti follows the solar calendar and hence is usually celebrated on the same day every year. This also marks the inception of the holy phase of Uttarayana which is considered the best time for attaining 'mukti'.

When is Makar Sankranti celebrated?

Makar Sankranti is celebrated in the Hindu calendar month of Magha and falls on the 14th of January every year.

Makar Sankranti is celebrated all across India by different names and rituals associated with this pious day. Other names include 'Khichri' in Uttar Pradesh, 'Pongal' in Tamil Nadu, 'Bhogali Bihu' in Assam, 'Sakarat' in Central India and 'Lohri' in Punjab and northern India.

Image Source: IANS

People and Cattle run over fire during Makar Sankranti celebrations

Rituals of Makar Sankranti

Different rituals are practiced in different states of India. Some of the key rituals of Makar Sankranti festival and its celebration are given below.

In Uttar Pradesh, ritual holy bath is taken by people in the Ganges. The famous 'Magh Mela' starts on this day at the Prayag in Allahabad.

In Punjab, the local people lit bonfires on the eve of Sankranti and perform puja around the sacred fire by throwing rice and sweets into it. This is followed by grand feasts and their native 'bhangra' dance around the fire.

In Gujarat, kite flying is of prime importance on that day. Other holy rituals like giving gifts to younger members of the family are a common practice during Makar Sankranti.

In Maharashtra, Sankranti is marked by the making and exchange of various kinds of sweets made of jaggery and sesame seeds. People greet each other and the married women of the house buy utensils. These are also exchanged as gifts which are known as 'Haldi Kumkum' which is an age old tradition followed in this region.

Image Source: IANS

In Tamil Nadu, Makar Sankranti is associated with the festival of Pongal

In Tamil Nadu and other parts of southern India, this day marks the worship of the harvest God. Local people harvest their paddy on this day and sweets made up of rice, pulses and milk cooked in ghee is offered to the family deity. This festival known as Pongal is the biggest festival celebrated by South Indians.

In Bengal, the famous Ganga sagar mela starts on this day. This is located in the delta regions of the Ganga where the river merges with the Bay of Bengal. People take holy dips in the river on this day offering early morning pujas to the Sun God at dawn.

Among the tribals of Orissa, Makar Sankranti signifies the New Year which is welcomed by cooking local food and sharing it among friends and families.

Image Source: Ravi Shankar Vyas/IANS

People fly kites on the eve of Makar Sankranti

Important Timings On Makar Sankranti

SunriseJanuary 15, 2020 7:14 AM
SunsetJanuary 15, 2020 5:57 PM
Punya Kaal Muhurta January 15, 7:14 AM - January 15, 12:36 PM
Maha Punya Kaal Muhurta January 15, 7:14 AM - January 15, 9:02 AM
Sankranti MomentJanuary 15, 2020 2:14 AM
Place : Ujjain [ India ] See More

Makar Sankranti festival dates between 2017 & 2027

YearDate
2017Saturday, 14th of January
2018Sunday, 14th of January
2019Tuesday, 15th of January
2020Wednesday, 15th of January
2021Thursday, 14th of January
2022Friday, 14th of January
2023Sunday, 15th of January
2024Monday, 15th of January
2025Tuesday, 14th of January
2026Wednesday, 14th of January
2027Friday, 15th of January

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