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Makara Sankranti is one of the most auspicious occasions for the Hindus, and is celebrated in almost all parts of India and Nepal in a myriad of cultural forms, with great devotion, fervour, and gaiety. It is a harvest festival.

Makara means Capricorn Zodiac Sign and Sankranti means transition of the Sun from one zodiac sign to another. Thus Makar Sankranti is the day that marks the transition of the Sun into Makara rashi (Capricorn) on its celestial path. The day is also believed to mark the arrival of spring in India.

Makara Sankranti is a solar event making it perhaps the only Indian festival whose date always falls on the same date on Gregorian calender every year: 14 January, with some exceptions, when the festival is celebrated on 13 January or 15 January.

According to Puranas, on the day of Makara Sankranthi, God Sun pays visit to the house of his son Shani (Saturn) who is the swami of Makar Rashi (Capricorn Zodiac sign).

Makara Sankranti is the day when the Sun begins its movement away from the tropic of Caprocorn and towards the northern hemisphere and this period from Makara Sankranthi to Karka Sankranthi is known as uttarayan (northward revolution).

To Hindus, the Sun stands for knowledge, spiritual light and wisdom. Makara Sankranti signifies that we should turn away from the darkness of delusion in which we live, and begin to enjoy a new life with bright light within us to shine brighter and brighter. We should gradually begin to grow in purity, wisdom and knowledge even as the Sun does from the Day of Makara Sankranti.

The festival of Makara Sankranti is highly regarded by the Hindus from north to south. The day is known by various names and a variety of traditions are witnessed as one explores the festival in different states.

Owing to the vast geography and diversity of culture in India, this festival is celebrated for innumerable reasons and in innumerable ways depending on the climate, agricultural environment, cultural background and location. On this day children fly kites.

(Sources: Wikipedia)

Wish you all a very safe and happy makar sankranti.

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