Makar Sankranti – As per Vedic Hindu philosophy, Sun is considered to be the king of all the planets. And Makar Sankranti commemorates the expedition of sun to the Northern Hemisphere. Makar is a Sanskrit that literally means Capricorn whereas Sankranti denotes transition. Hence, sun’s transition from Sagittarius to Capricorn sign in the northern hemisphere, during winter is Makar Sankranti. Sun takes an uttarayana route on January 14 and stays there until July 14. This festival also comes as Thanksgiving to Mother Nature for an abundance of crops, well being and prosperity. The festivities include sweets made of rice, jaggery, green gram and sesame.
The festivals is known as Khichri in UP, Sakat in Haryana and Punjab, Sukarat in MP, Bhogali Bihu in Assam and West Bengal, Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Sankranti in Andhra and Karnataka and Uttarayan in Rajasthan and Gujarat.