Makar Sankranti is one of the most auspicious days of the Hindu calendar and is dedicated to diety Surya (Sun). The festival falls in mid-January, marking the end of the harsh winter season and the beginning of the harvest season.

Being a festival that celebrates the solar cycle, it almost always falls on the same Gregorian date every year i.e., January 14 or January 15. Makar Sankranti is one of the few Indian festivals that is observed according to solar cycles. Most festivals fall according to the Hindu calendar.

Makar Sankranti Celebrations and Significance:

Makar Sankranti is celebrated across India by different names. It is known as Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Maaghi in Punjab, Bhogali Bihu in Assam and Uttarayan in Gujarat. It is one of the most auspicious days of the Hindu calendar and indicates the first day of the sun’s transition into Capricorn.

In Uttar Pradesh and parts of Bihar, Makar Sankranti is also known as ‘Khichdi’ after the one-pot meal that is offered to the sun god. On Makar Sankranti in North India, khichdi made with rice, urad dal and a colourful medley of winter vegetables is flavoured with warm aromatic spices and pure ghee.

In most parts of India, til or sesame seeds are...

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