The festival of Makar Sankranti will be celebrated in India on January 15. Its significance is linked to the sun’s entry into Capricorn. When the sun god leaves Sagittarius and enters Capricorn, Makar Sankranti is observed. The festival is always observed on the 14th or 15th of January. In a year, the sun transits through 12 zodiac signs and the zodiac in which it enters is called its Sankranti. This year the sun will enter Capricorn on the 14th of January.
There is a tradition of bathing in holy rivers on Makar Sankranti and donating black sesame seeds, sesame laddus, rice, vegetables, pulses, turmeric, fruits, and other items to the poor.
Khichdi is another name for Makar Sankranti. Khichdi is made and consumed on the occasion, especially in Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jharkhand. On Makar Sankranti, it is customary to offer Khichdi to the Gorakhnath temple in Gorakhpur. From this day, the Magh Mela is also organised in Prayagraj. Maghi is another name for Makar Sankranti.
The festival is known as Paush Sankranti in West Bengal. Since the sun enters Capricorn in the Hindu calendar month of Paush, it is known as Paush Sankranti.
In Gujarat, it is known as the Uttarayan festival. A kite festival is organised there on this occasion and it attracts participants from all over the world. On the day of Uttarayan, it is mandatory to bathe and fast.
In Karnataka, too, bathing and donating is customary on this day. In Assam, Bihu is commemorated and people rejoice for the reward of new crops and prepare a variety of dishes.
In the southern state of Tamil Nadu, Pongal is celebrated and Kheer is offered to the sun god on this day.
In the states of Haryana, Punjab and Delhi, Lohri is observed a day before Makar Sankranti. The delight of the new crop is celebrated on this day.
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