India is a land of festivals. There are innumerable festivals celebrated all over India, some extremely known and famous and others slightly less known. Makar Sakranti is one of the widely known and celebrated festivals of India.
Makar is a Sanskrit word for Capricorn while Sankranti is a Sanskrit word for transition. It is the only Indian festival that follows the solar calendar. It is celebrated on January 14th every year. It is celebrated on January 15 from 2015 onwards. Its date has changed over the ages. About 1000 years ago, it was celebrated on December 31. It is a festival of harvest which is celebrated on the day after winter solstice. It is celebrated in almost all Indian states such as Bihar, Delhi, Karnatka, Telagana, Uttar Pradesh etc. This festival brings with itself a unique tradition of kite flying. This helps the people relax in the early morning sun. It is widely associated with pilgrimage. In Uttar Pradesh, Kumbh Mela starts with Makar Sakranti. In West Bengal it is Gangasagar or Sagardweep mela. Some of the other popular names of this festival are: Khichdi, Maghi, Uttarayan, Lohri, Poush Parbon, Makara Sankramana, Pongal, Maghe Sankranti, Songkran, Pi Ma Lao, Thingyan.
By: Anuja Arora