Latest UpdatesSpecial DaysFestivalsInteresting facts about Makar Sankranti you might not know!

Interesting facts about Makar Sankranti you might not know!

Makar Sankranti also known as Maghi is a Hindu festival that is traditionally been celebrated in the middle of January every year marking the end of the winter season and the beginning of longer days.

According to the solar cycle Makar Sankranti is celebrated annually on 14th January. The auspicious festival is dedicated to deity surya( Sun). This day marks the transit of sun into Makara(Capricorn), marking the end of shorter days and the beginning of longer days.

Makar Sankranti is celebrated with social festivities such as colorful decorations, rural children going house to house, singing and asking for treats in some areas, melas (fairs), dances, kite flying, bonfires and feasts.

Makara Sankranti is considered important for spiritual practices and accordingly, people take a holy dip in rivers, especially Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri. It is believed that the bathing is a result in merit or absolution of past sins. They pray to the deity sun and thank for their successes and prosperity.

Interesting facts about Makar Sankranti you might not know!

Let’s take a look at some interesting facts about Makar Sankranti you might not know:

1) A unique Hindu festival based on Solar Cycle:

Makar Sankranti is one of the rarest festival that is celebrated on the basis of solar cycles as mostly Hindu festivals are celebrated according to lunar cycle of the Hindu calendar.

2) Makar Sankranti date changes in leap year:

Makar Sankranti almost always falls on the same Gregorian date every year (January 14) but on leap years it falls on 15 January.
Because by the time of leap year, year Calendar is lagging almost one day behind the sun, causing Makar Sankranti to fall on 15 January

3) Makar Sankranti is celebrated with different names in different places:

It is celebrated as Magh Bihu in Assam, Maghi in Punjab, Maghi Saaji in Himachal Pradesh, Maghi Sangrand or Uttarain (Uttarayana) in Jammu, Sakraat in Haryana, Sukarat in central India, Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Uttarayan in Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh, Ghughuti in Uttarakhand, Dahi Chura in Bihar, Makara Sankranti in Odisha, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, West Bengal.

4) Makar Sankranti is also celebrated in different countries:

Makar Sankranti is celebrated in Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, America,  Canada and in some European counties as well.

5) Makar Sankranti and Uttarayan coincided during the Aryabhata period (1500 years ago) :

During the time of Aryabhata
1,500 years ago, Uttarayan and Makar Sankranti coincided. Now Makar Sankranti falls on January 14, but Uttarayan happens on Dhanu Sankranti.

6) Makar Sankranti marks the end of inauspicious month :

Makar Sankranti marks the end of Malmaas, an inauspicious month in the Hindu Panchang calendar, and the transition of the Sun to the zodiacal sign of Makar (Capricorn) to herald a change in season.

Interesting facts about Makar Sankranti you might not know!

7) Every twelve years, the Hindus observe Makar Sankranti with Kumbha Mela :

Kumbha Mela is one of the world’s largest mass pilgrimage, with an estimated 40 to 100 million people attending the event. Every year Hindus observe Makar Sankranti with this mela.

8) Makar Sankranti and the ritual of kite flying :

There is a reason behind this kite flying ritual, Hindus considered the early morning sun beneficial for the skin and body and since winter is also the time of a lot of infections and sickness, by basking in the sun, Hindus believed that the bad bacteria on their bodies would be cleared to a certain extent.

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