India celebrates Makar Sankranti


New Delhi: Makar Sankranti, an Indian festival was celebrated in many parts of India and Nepal. It is a harvest festival which is basically celebrated in the Hindu communities. In India, the states of Bihar, Bengal, Punjab, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu celebrate the festival with great fervor and zeal.

In Tamil Nadu the festival is known as Pongal, in Assam as Bhogali Bihu, in Punjab, as Lohiri, in Gujarat and Rajasthan, as Uttararayan.

Makar Sankranti marks the transition of the sun into the zodiacal sign of Makara (Capricon). It is that one day when the duration of the day and night are of equal durations and after this day, the days become longer and the nights shorter. It also marks the arrival of spring in India. It is one of the few festivals which falls on the same Georgian calendar date every year i.e. 14 January, with few exceptions when it comes on 15 January 2016 being one of them.

Makar Sankranti is a blissful festival celebrated by Hindus. All enthusiasts step out of their houses and enjoy flying kites. Colourful kites fill the sky on the auspicious day of Sankranti. The significance of Makar Sankranti is greater in Maharashtra. People send greeting cards to their friends and relatives. The day is started by offering prayers to various deities. People visit temples to bow their heads in front of supreme power.(Inputs from Purti Kalra)(