Makar Sankranti also called Maghi or Bhogi is a festival dedicated to the sun god (Suryadeva as per Hindus). The festival marks the end of the winter days and beginning of the longer sunny days. It signifies the harvest season, people celebrate if via Kite flying, bonfires, fairs, feasts and dance. The festival follows solar calendar instead of the lunar calendar alike all other festivals, hence the day falls almost on the same date every year which stand either on the 14th or 15th of January.
Religiously, the festival marks the transition of sun into the zodiac sign of Makara Rashi or Capricorn. Scientifically, on this day sun transits to the tropic of Capricorn from the tropic of cancer. Capricorn is the zodiac sign of Saturn and according to Hindu mythology, Saturn is the son of sun god thus signifying that lord sun comes down to his son’s place to spend some time with him. Giving the auspicious message of love and care to everyone, the festival reminds the people to end their grudges against each other and dwell in peace and stay together in harmony and brotherhood.
The festival also proves as the day of result for the farmers as it is the time for farmers to turn happy with their produces they obtain in their fields and later celebrate this harvest season in the form of Joy and get together on Makar Sankranti festival. In many native places it is believed that taking a holy dip in the Ganges on this day would rid them of all the sins they’ve done as the direct sunrays purifies their soul when it falls on their wet bodies. Women all across India consider the day sacred to pray for the long lives of their husband, to seek blessings from them. The highly awaited Kumbh Mela celebrations also begins from this day. Moreover the festival also marks the beginning of the Uttaryan period, in which the person ends its cycle of re-birth.
Makar Sankranti thus proves to be an extremely auspicious festival of India where generally every household celebrates it to pray for the good health and prosperity of their families. The festival spreads the message of forgiving the grudges and grievances and make a new beginning to live a happy and healthy life together.