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Sakranti is a word of Sanskrit languageand it means transmigration of sun from one to another Rashi. Hence total 12Sakranti falls a year but Sakranti festival means maker Sakranti when suntransmigrates from Dhanu to Makar Rashi. Makar Sakranti is celebrated on basisof solar calendar so its date remains same for years. It’s celebrated on 14thJanuary every year. It’s basically a harvest festival and is celebrated withinnumerable reasons and ways to celebrate all over the Indian Subcontinent. 

The festival is known with many names likeMakar Sakranti in Andra Pradesh, Sikkim, Goa, Bihar,Karnataka, Jharkhand,Bihar, Kerala, Orissa, Maharashtra, Manipur, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal andUttar Pradesh; Uttarayan in Gujarat and Rajasthan; Maghi in Punjab, HimachalPradesh and Haryana; Pongal in Tamilnadu, Magh Bihu or Bhogal Bihu in Assamvalley; Shishur senkaraat in Kashmir valley; Makar Vilakku in Sabrimala Templeof Kerala.
This festival is celebrated in othercountries also with different names like Maghi in Tharu people of Nepal andMaghe Sakranti in other people of Nepal; Songkran in Thailand, Pi Ma Lao inLaos; Thingyan in Myanmar; Moha Sangkran in Cambodia.

Significance of Makar Sakranti:
As we discussed that there are innumerablebeliefs behind celebration of this festival; Here are a few of them:

1.    Its believed thatSun(Surya) visits the house of his son Saturn(Shani) on this day and stays fora month.
2.    Its believed that Dayand Night for deities are of 6 months and on Makar Sakranti day of Devtasstarts so its also called Uttarayana.

3.    On this Day LordVishnu ended terror of Asurs and buried their heads under Mandar Parvat. Sothis day signifies end of all negatives.

4.    On this day MaharajBhagirath finally succeded in bringing river Ganga to the earth and performedTarpan for 60000 suns of maharaj sagar who burnt to ashes at the ashram ofKapil muni. He performed tarpan at Ganga sagar of present day and every yeargreat fair is organised there and thousands of people performs tarpan for theirancestors.

5.    On this day Bhishmapitamah of Mahabharata who was blessed with boon of ichcha mrityu decided toleave his mortal coil. He was lying on bed of arrows till this day. Itsbelieved that who dies in Uttarayana becomes free from transmigration of soul.

6.    Sikhs celebrates thisday as Maghi. On this day Guru Govind Singh discarded beydaava of 40 sikhs.


On this day its believed that donatingclothes, eatables, money to humans or grass to cows washes the earlier sins ofhuman and god blesses him with heaven after his or her death. Bath also hasgreat significance on this day and in many states its said “Raja ka daan aurpraja ka snaan” means donation by king and bath by common man carries equalimportance. Til-Daan is also a very popular practice on this day.
Games like Kite Flying and SItolia are very popular in Indian States

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