Makar Sankranti also known as the Kite festival. It is known as Maghi in Punjab. In Uttar Pradesh, the festival is known as ‘Khichiri’. In Gujarat and Rajasthan, the festival is known as Uttarayan.
Makar Sankranti is a harvest festival. It is celebrated to mark the arrival of spring season. This festival is celebrated for innumerable reasons depending on various climate, agricultural environment, cultural background and location.
This festival is celebrated in various parts of the Indian subcontinent to observe the day which marks the shift of the sun into ever-lengthening days.
Makar Sankranti is observed at the beginning of the Capricon period under the sidereal zodiac, either 14 or 15 January, and signifies the arrival of warmer days. The festival is also dedicated to the sun god and marks the six months auspicious period for Hindus known as Uttarayan. The importance of Uttaarayan is exhibited in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, where Bhishma Pitamah waited for the sun to be in Uttaarayan for him to die willingly.
Makar Sankranti is believed to be a time for peace and prosperity. The day is regarded as important for spiritual practices and accordingly people take a holy dip in rivers, especially Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Krishna and Cauvery. The bathing is believed to wash away sins. People wear new clothes and distribute sweets.
Importance of Makar Sankranti :
- Makar Sankranti promotes a feeling of sense of unity among peoples.
- People forget their past grievances and forgive one another.
- Since it is a harvest festival, it is of utmost importance for the farmers.