Makar Sankranti

Makar Sankranti

Makara Sankranti or Maghi, is a festival day in the Hindu calendar, dedicated to the deity Surya (sun). It is observed each year in the lunar month of Magha which corresponds with the month of January as per the Gregorian calendar and is a day the people of India celebrate their harvest. It marks the first day of the sun's transit into Makara (Capricorn), marking the end of the month with the winter solstice and the start of longer days.

Makara Sankranti is one of the few ancient Indian festivals that has been observed according to solar cycles, while most festivals are set by the lunar cycle of the lunisolar (चंद्र – सौर) Hindu calendar. Being a festival that celebrates the solar cycle, it almost always falls on the same Gregorian date every year (January 14/15), except in some years when the date shifts by a day for that year.

The festivities associated with Makar Sankranti are known by various names, such as Magh Bihu in Assam, Maghi (preceded by Lohri) in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, popular amongst both the Hindus and Sikhs, Sukarat in central India, Thai Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Ghughuti in Uttarakhand or simply as 'Makara Sankranti' in Odisha, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh (also called Pedda Pandaga), Telangana, West Bengal (also called Poush Sankranti) and Uttar Pradesh (also called Khichdi Sankranti)