No matter what it's called, the sentiment is the same -- in new beginnings and renewed hopes for better times ahead that are celebrated all over India in January in special holiday dishes and traditions.
It's a new day - go fly a kite!
While there are important religious aspects behind the celebration, in more practical terms Makar Sankranti is most famous as the day for sending hopes and aspirations skyward -- with prayers offered to the Lord Sun in the form of beautiful kites.
One of the more impressive celebrations is centered on the International Kite Festival in Ahmedabad - a four-day event which is perfectly timed to culminate on Makar Sankranti.
Deicious dishes for Makar Sankranti
Sankranti is also known as Khichadi,
the name of the traditional Indian dish made from rice and lentils eaten
during the festival. Colorful tilguls,
made from sesame seeds (til) and sugar, are another popular favvorite.
In fact, the sesame
is such a favorite food at this time of year
that the feast is sometimes called Til Sankranti. Sesame dishes
Laddoos, and Til-Polis
are eagerly devoured, and til oil is used for massages during
As in Spring festivals in many parts of the world, Makar Sankranti is a time of rebirth and renewal.
Happy Makar Sankranti!
DID YOU KNOW? Makar Sankranti fun facts
• In India, there are total of twelve Sankranti throughout the year, but "Makar Sankranti" is the most widely observed and celebrated all over India. On the Hindu calendar, a sankranti marks the transition of the sun from one phase to the next.
• Makar Sankranti goes by different names in different areas of the country. In Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab, it is named Maghi. In the state of Gujarat, it is known as Uttarayan. In Tamil Nadu, it's called Pongal.
More about Makar Sankranti around the Web:
Sankranti - Here's a nice overview courtesy of Wikipedia with information on different customs and celebrations, with photos and related resources.
Makar Sankranti e-Cards - Find kites, kites and more kites, plus other design selections to send along with your wishes for a Happy Makar Sankranti!