Makar Sankranti is a Hindu festival celebrated in the month of January normally when the winter bade goodbye and there is onset of summer.
It is ideally the transition of the Sun from Sagittarius to Capricorn at the time of the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere.
It is held in honor of the Sun and various activities such as Kite Flying and a holy dip in the water.
Hindus mostly gather in large numbers and give out sweetmeats and other delicacies on the occasion of Makar Sakranti.
The celebration of the festival-
This harvest festival is celebrated with much fervor and enthusiasm and also marks the auspicious phase of the holy transition.
It is the beginning of warmer days and longer days as compared to nights as it leads to the changes in the equinox.
In the north it is celebrated as the Magh Mela which is a very important event for priests and devotees alike.
Where did the word Sankranti originated from?
The word Sankranti means the movement of the Sun from one zodiac sign to another and which indicates the Sun entering the Capricorn in the Makar.
It is the festival of families coming to together and encouraging to live with one another peacefully.
Kite flying is popular in many parts of the Asia and more so in Gujarat where there much enjoyment for the same.It is normally carried out in the early hours of morning as it is believed to ward off any kind of winter sickness.
The famous Kumbh Mela happens during this time and is a much revered affair.
The Significance of the festival-
This festival is dedicated to Lord Surya.It is important for spiritual practices and this festival is known by different names throughout India like for e.g.-Pongal in Tamil Nadu,Maghi in Himachal Pradesh,Magh Bhigu in Assam.
The holy dip in the Ganges is considered to be a very auspicious time.
Harvest Festival time-
For most of the period this is in the early stages of the Rabi crop and the agricultural cycle ,where the sowing is done and the main work of the field is over and so it is time to celebrate and rejoice.
A lot of feasts to gorge on–
People normally celebrate this festival so that it will keep them warm in the cold weather.Til lad-dos are made specially,seeds and jaggery is prepared.Sugarcane is also savored on that day.