Makar Sankranti is an Indian festival celebrated by several states of India around mid-January. Tamil Nadu celebrates Pongal at the same time while Punjab celebrates Lohri at this time. While this is when all the different states celebrate their harvest festivals, true to India’s diverse traditions, each one has its own customs and practices.
Origin and significance of Makar Sankranti: Why Makar Sankranti is celebrated
‘Makara’ means ‘Capricorn’. The movement of the sun into ‘Makara Raashi’ or the ‘zodiac of Capricorn’ is called Makar Sankranti.
This festival marks the end of the long, cold, winter months and the onset of spring. In ancient times, it was the time when the shift of the sun resulted in longer days. So, it is a celebration of the change of seasons – from a harsher to a milder climate. A sign of hope and positivity.
- This festival is celebrated in honor of Surya (the Sun God) to pay tribute for the grace of his energy that has enabled life and food on earth.
- As it is the harvest festival, it is a time of joy, abundance, and celebration in the farming communities, the time when they reap the fruits of their hard labor.
- It is also a time for peace when families bury the hatchet and get together.