Makar Sankranti 2024: From date, time, meaning, to celebrations; here’s everything you need to know.

Makar Sankranti is a Hindu harvest festival observed throughout India, generally in January.

Makar Sankranti is observed a day after Lohri, on January 15, 2023. According to Drik Panchang, the Sankranti tithi will be 2:45 a.m. on January 15. Meanwhile, the Makar Sankranti Punya Kala will last from 7:15 a.m. to 8:07 p.m., or 10 hours and 31 minutes, while the Makara Sankranti Maha Punya Kala will begin at 7:15 a.m. and last 1 hour and 45 minutes.

According to common belief, those who die on Makar Sankranti go immediately to paradise. According to tradition, Sankranti was a Hindu deity who defeated a demon named Sankarasur on the day after Makar Sankranti. The day is known as Karidin or Kinkrant, and Devi killed the villain Kinkarasur. It is commemorated under many names, traditions, and activities around the country.

The harvest festival honors the Sun God Surya and marks the sun’s entry into the Makara (Capricorn) Rashi (zodiac sign). The festival is observed in the Indian Subcontinent and by Hindus all over the world. Makar Sankranti signals the end of the winter season, as the sun moves northward. This fortunate month, also known as Uttarayan, signals the start of longer days.

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

During the festival, people worship the Sun God, take holy dips in sacred water bodies, participate in philanthropic activities such as donating money to the needy, fly kites, make sesame and jaggery sweets, and worship livestock. Furthermore, farmers in India pray for excellent crops.
This celebration in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad is related with the popular kite flying practice. Since 1989, the day has been celebrated as the International Kite Festival.

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