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Happy Makar Sankranti 2020: History, Importance & Rituals of the Festival

Makar Sankranti also known as Makara Sankranti is celebrated in various parts of the Indian subcontinent to observe the day which marks the shift of the sun into ever-lengthening days. The festival is a seasonal observance as well as a religious celebration.

India | PTI | January 15, 2020, 8:34 am
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 Makar Sankranti also known as Makara Sankranti is celebrated in various parts of the Indian subcontinent to observe the day which marks the shift of the sun into ever-lengthening days. (Image: PTI)

Makar Sankranti also known as Makara Sankranti is celebrated in various parts of the Indian subcontinent to observe the day which marks the shift of the sun into ever-lengthening days. (Image: PTI)

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 The festival is a seasonal observance as well as a religious celebration. (Image: PTI)

The festival is a seasonal observance as well as a religious celebration. (Image: PTI)

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 Though extremely popular as Makar Sankranti, the festival is predominantly a harvest festival and is celebrated throughout India, from north to south and east to west. (Image: PTI)

Though extremely popular as Makar Sankranti, the festival is predominantly a harvest festival and is celebrated throughout India, from north to south and east to west. (Image: PTI)

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 While Makar Sankranti is most popular in West India, down south, the festival is known as Pongal and in the north, it is celebrated as Lohri. Uttarayan, Maghi, Khichdi are some other names of the same festival. (Image: PTI)

While Makar Sankranti is most popular in West India, down south, the festival is known as Pongal and in the north, it is celebrated as Lohri. Uttarayan, Maghi, Khichdi are some other names of the same festival. (Image: PTI)

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 Makar Sankranti is the festival of til-gul where sesame and jaggery laddoos or chikkis are distributed among all. (Image: PTI)

Makar Sankranti is the festival of til-gul where sesame and jaggery laddoos or chikkis are distributed among all. (Image: PTI)

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 The festival Makara Sankranthi is a solar event making it one of the few Hindu festivals which fall on the same date in local calendars every year: 14 January, with some exceptions when the festival is celebrated on 15 January. (Image: PTI)

The festival Makara Sankranthi is a solar event making it one of the few Hindu festivals which fall on the same date in local calendars every year: 14 January, with some exceptions when the festival is celebrated on 15 January. (Image: PTI)

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 Makar Sankranti is believed to be a time for peace and prosperity. (Image: PTI)

Makar Sankranti is believed to be a time for peace and prosperity. (Image: PTI)

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 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. (Image: PTI)

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. (Image: PTI)

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 Makar or Makara Sankranti is celebrated in many parts of South Asia with some regional variations. (Image: PTI)

Makar or Makara Sankranti is celebrated in many parts of South Asia with some regional variations. (Image: PTI)

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 It is known by different names and celebrated with different customs in different parts of the region. (Image: PTI)

It is known by different names and celebrated with different customs in different parts of the region. (Image: PTI)

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 The festival is one of bonding where every member of society is asked to bury the hatchet with enemies and foes and live in peace. (Image: PTI)

The festival is one of bonding where every member of society is asked to bury the hatchet with enemies and foes and live in peace. (Image: PTI)

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 Makar Sankranti generally marks the beginning of the Kumbh Mela in Uttar Pradesh while in South India, in Kerala, one of the most austere and difficult pilgrimages of Shabrimala ends on this auspicious day. (Image: PTI)

Makar Sankranti generally marks the beginning of the Kumbh Mela in Uttar Pradesh while in South India, in Kerala, one of the most austere and difficult pilgrimages of Shabrimala ends on this auspicious day. (Image: PTI)

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 Other parts of the country too, celebrate by taking a dip in the holy rivers flowing through states to cleanse themselves of sins. (Image: PTI)

Other parts of the country too, celebrate by taking a dip in the holy rivers flowing through states to cleanse themselves of sins. (Image: PTI)

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 It is also believed that if you die during Makar Sankranti, you are not reborn but go directly to heaven. (Image: PTI)

It is also believed that if you die during Makar Sankranti, you are not reborn but go directly to heaven. (Image: PTI)

  • First Published: January 15, 2020, 7:25 am

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