Facts about Makar Sakranti: India is a land of diversity. As various religions co-exist in our country, there are numerous festivals that we celebrate harmoniously from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. One of these is Makar Sakranti, the festival of kites. It is not a very widely known festival and very few of us know much about it.
Here are some of the lesser known interesting facts about this beautiful festival that we must know about.
8 Lesser Known Facts About Makar Sakranti
- It is the only Hindu festival that falls on the same day year after year. It is so because Makar Sakranti is celebrated as per the solar calendar while the other Hindu festivals are celebrated as per the lunar calendar and thus the dates for them change each year unlike that in the solar calendar.
- The festival is called Makar Sakranti and rightly so because on this day the sun enters the sun-sign Makara or Capricorn. Makara means Capricorn sun sign and Sakranti means movement of the sun into another zodiac sun, and thus the name Makar Sakranti.
- It is a festival of harvest and it is celebrated in many regions across the country, however, called different names at different places. It is famously known as ‘Lohri’ in Northern India while in southern India it is famously called ‘ Pongal’. While at yet other places it is called Maghi and Uttrayan.
- Makar Sakranti marks the onset of the spring season and the end of winter season. On this day, the day and night are equally long, as for winters, the nights are longer than the days. After Makar Sakranti, the days become longer and the nights shorter.
- This festival marks the beginning of Kumbh Mela in Uttar Pradesh. Makar Sakranti has great religious significance and this day is considered to be highly auspicious. People visit pilgrimages and take a dip in the holy waters of Ganges on this festival to rid themselves of their sins.
- This festival is also celebrated in Myanmar, Nepal and Thailand.
- It is a famous tradition to fly kites on this day. This tradition has a rather meaningful reason. As this festival falls in the winter season, kite-flying allows one to provide one’s skin adequate exposure to the sun. This provides the human body with the required amount of vitamin D and the body is ridden off the allergies and bacteria that might have developed in winters.
- Sweet snacks made of jaggery and sesame seeds are made and consumed on this day. The reason behind it is that these are the two ingredients that are rich in energy that the body needs in winters and these also keep the body warm.