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Makar Sankranti: Is it on Jan 14 or Jan 15?

Makar Sankranti 2024 heralds one of the most extraordinary days of the year, celebrated with great enthusiasm nationwide. Recognized as the harvest festival, it is a time when communities come together to prepare special dishes, engage in kite-flying, participate in charitable acts, and pay homage to the Sun God. Observed under various regional names across India, Makar Sankranti signifies the sun's shift from Sagittarius to Capricorn, also known as Makara Rashi. This transition inspires the festival's name.

Yearly, Makar Sankranti unfolds as a social extravaganza, featuring fairs, vibrant decorations, music, dance, bonfires, and remarkable feats. As we approach the celebration of Makar Sankranti this year, here are some key insights to consider.

Date Quandary
Makar Sankranti typically occurs on January 14 each year. However, in leap years, the festivities extend to January 15. In 2024, the festival will be joyously observed on January 15. According to Drik Panchang, Punya Kala will commence at 7:15 AM and conclude at 17:46 PM, while the Maha Punya Kala is set from 7:15 AM to 9 AM on January 15.

Symbolism and Significance
In Hindu mythology, Makar Sankranti holds a tale of Sankranti, a deity who vanquished a demon named Sankarasur on the day following the festival. There is also a belief that departing on Makar Sankranti leads one directly to heaven. The festival marks the sun's shift to a new zodiac, signifying the end of winter and the commencement of longer days in India. Tradition dictates the worship of livestock and the preparation of sweets with sesame seeds. Farmers seize the occasion to pray for a bountiful crop, seeking blessings from the Sun God.

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