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MAIN Arrow to Home Life - HolidaysHolidays & Observances Arrow to Makar SankrantiMakar Sankranti

This year, Makar Sankrati is observed on Saturday, January 14, 2018.

Sankranti means "to move from one place to another." The Lord Sun makes 12 movements during the year, but this is one of the most important transitions.

Makar Sankranti is the day when the sun moves from Sagittarius into Capricorn during the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere (Uttarayana). This is not a movable feast determined by the lunar calendar. Makar Sankranti is always celebrated on January 14 on the solar calendar to celebrate the anticipation of Spring and the return of longer days.

This is one of the most auspicious feast days in the Hindu culture and celebrated in almost all parts of the country, but the festivities might have different names and traditions.

Spring is on its way - go fly a kite!

kites flying on Makar SankrantiWhile there are important religious connotations behind the celebration, in more practical terms Makar Sankrati is most famous as the day to go kite flying, sending hopes and aspirations skyward.

During the festival, many people ceremonially bathe in rivers, with celebrations featuring thousands of colorful 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.

Makar Sankranti is also known as Khichadi, the name of the traditional Indian dish made from rice and lentils eaten during the festival, and in Maharashtra, colorful tilguds made from sesame seeds (til) and sugar.

The sesame is such a favorite food of the Sun God at this time of year that the feast is sometimes called Til Sankranti. Sesame dishes of Til Laddoos, and Til-Polis are eagerly devoured, and til oil is used for massages during the festival.

More about Makar Sankranti around the Web:

Makar Sankranti - Nice overview courtesy of Wikipedia with information on different customs and celebrations, photos, and related resources.

Makar Sankranti e-Cards - Kites, kites and more kites, plus other design selections to send along with your wishes for a Happy Makar Sankranti!

also see -> Holi | Janmashtami | Rakhi | India Independence Day

also see in Religion -> Hinduism

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