Makar Sankranti 2024: From date, time, significance to celebrations; Here’s all you need to know

During Makar Sankranti, people worship the Sun God, engage in charitable activities, fly kites, prepare sweets, and farmers pray for good crops.

Written By Fareha Naaz
Updated9 Jan 2024, 08:12 AM IST
Kawarias hang by their flesh during Pongal celebrations at Vatappalai Amman Kovil. Makar Sankranti festival is known by different names and celebrated with various traditions and festivities across different states in India.
Kawarias hang by their flesh during Pongal celebrations at Vatappalai Amman Kovil. Makar Sankranti festival is known by different names and celebrated with various traditions and festivities across different states in India.

Makar Sankranti is a Hindu harvest festival that is widely celebrated across India and usually falls in the month of January. 

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Date

Makar Sankranti is celebrated a day after Lohri and this year, the festival falls on January 15, 2023. According to Drik Panchang, the Sankranti tithi will be 2: at t45 am on January 15. Meanwhile, the Makar Sankranti Punya Kala will last from 7:15 am to 8:07 pm spanning 10 hours 31 minutes and Makara Sankranti Maha Punya Kala will begin at 7:15 am and will conclude at 9:00 am spanning 1 hour 45 minutes.

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History 

If one dies on the day of Makar Sankranti they go straight to paradise, according to popular belief. As mythology states, Sankranti was a Hindu deity who killed a demon called Sankarasur on the following day of Makar Sankranti. The day is called Karidin or Kinkrant while Devi killed the villain Kinkarasur. In different states, it is celebrated with different names, traditions, and festivities.

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Significance

The harvest festival is dedicated to the Sun God called Surya and marks the sun's transit into Makara (Capricorn) Rashi (zodiac sign). The festival is celebrated in the Indian Subcontinent and by Hindus all over the world. Considering the sun's northward journey, Makar Sankranti marks the end of the winter season. This auspicious period is also known as Uttarayan and marks the beginning of longer days.

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Celebrations

The Makar Sankranti festival is known by several names based on the region where it is celebrated. North Indian Hindus and Sikhs refer to it as Maghi, which is preceded by Lohri. In Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, and Telangana, it is known as Makara Sankranti and also Poush Sôngkrānti. In central India, it is called Sukarat, Assamese call it Magh Bihu, in Eastern Uttar Pradesh it is called Khichdi, in Gujarat and Rajasthan it is called Uttarayanan and in Tamil Nadu, it is called Thai Pongal or Pongal. 

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During the festival, people worship the Sun God, take a holy dip in sacred water bodies, engage in charitable activities by giving alms to the needy, fly kites, prepare sweets made of sesame and jaggery, and worship livestock. Moreover, farmers across India pray for good crops.

Also read: Jallikattu: Bull taming sport in Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka begins today; Madurai to have the event from January 15

In Gujarat's Ahmedabad, this festival is associated with the popular practice of kite flying. Since 1989, the day has been observed as International Kite Festival.

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First Published:9 Jan 2024, 08:12 AM IST
HomeNewsMakar Sankranti 2024: From date, time, significance to celebrations; Here’s all you need to know

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