The Hindu harvest festival of Makar Sankranti is observed a day after the Lohri and usually falls in mid-January. The festival is celebrated across the country with a lot of fanfare where people get together and make special yummy dishes, fly kites, participate in charity work and worship the Sun God. While it’s known by different names in different parts of India, Makar Sankranti celebrates the sun’s transition from the zodiac of Sagittarius to Capricorn. As the festival celebrates the sun’s northwards journey, it also essentially marks the end of harsh winters and the beginning of longer days.
Makar Sankranti 2024: History And Significance
Makar Sankranti is known by different names in different states. In Tamil Nadu. Makar Sankranti or Sankranthi is known as Pongal. In Gujarat and Rajasthan Makar Sankranti is known as Uttarayana. In Haryana and Punjab Makar Sankranti is known as Maghi. In Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, and Telangana, it is known as Makara Sankranti and also Poush Sôngkrānti.
According to Hindu mythology, Sankranti – a Hindu deity – killed a demon called Sankarasur on the following day of Makar Sankranti. It’s also believed that if someone dies on the day of Sankranti, they go straight to paradise.
Makar Sankranti 2024: Is It On January 14 Or 15?
While in most years Makar Sankranti falls on January 14, the year 2024 being a leap year, the festival is being celebrated on January 15 this year.
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Makar Sankranti 2024: Date, Shubh Muhurat
Makara Sankranti Date: January 15, Monday
Makara Sankranti Punya Kala: 7.15 AM to 5.46 PM
Makara Sankranti Maha Punya Kala: 7.15 AM to 9 AM
(Source: Drik Panchang)
Makar Sankranti Rituals And Celebrations
The Sun God is worshipped on this day and in particular, farmers pray to Surya Dev for a good harvest. On this day, devotees also worship livestock and prepare sweets with sesame seeds and jaggery. Kite flying is one of the main activities that people indulge in on this day. Some devotees take a holy dip in sacred water bodies and give out alms to those in need as a part of charity.