The word sankranti is used in the context of the Hindu calendar to refer to one of the 12 movements of the sun from one section of the zodiac to another. However, the word is perhaps best known for its use in the name of the Makar Sankranti, a Hindu festival celebrating the winter solstice and the transition to springtime, as well as the harvest. Makar Sankranti marks the movement of the sun into Capricorn. Makar Sankranti is sometimes simply called Sankranti. It is also sometimes called Uttarayan. Similar festivals that take place at the same time are known as Pongal and Lohri, though these may be considered entirely separate observances (even though they also celebrate the harvest and the transition to springtime). In some places, Makar Sankranti is celebrated with kite flying, and the name Uttarayan is sometimes used as the name of a kite festival, notably in the Indian state of Gujarat. Traditions associated with Makar Sankranti vary from place to place and include charitable giving and ritual bathing in sacred rivers. Some people also burn old items, light bonfires, and give presents of sweets to each other. ⚡️When is Makar Sankranti?Makar Sankranti is observed on January 14. The term Uttarayan often refers to the entire period between the winter solstice and the summer solstice, but the name Makar Sankranti is usually used to refer to a celebration lasting a few days (or the moment when the sun moves into Capricorn).
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