Makar Sankranti festival is dedicated to Surya and marks the journey’s starting point. The sun makes its entrance route into Makara. At the onset of Uttarayana, it starts with northward movement by the sun, which is observed in such a spirited way. Despite the many ways people all over India and neighboring countries celebrate Makar Sankranti, its spirit never changes — praising new beginnings, richness, and prudence.

About Makar Sankranti

In 2024, Makar Sankranti will be celebrated on Monday, the 15th of January and generally, this festival is celebrated for three days.

The first day which is called Bhogi is for cleaning and getting ready for the upcoming events. People clean their houses and adorn them with beautiful traditional rangolis that are drawn using colored powders or flowers. They also sit together near the firelight and pray to their god of flares Lord Agni.

The second day is known as Makar Sankranti, and it forms the core of all celebratory activities. People rise early in the morning and take a sacred dip in rivers like Ganga, Yamuna or Godavari to rejuvenate themselves. They later worship sun god, and share til (sesame) and jaggery sweets which marks the bonds of unity. Another exciting event during this festival is kite flying, which portrays how a human spirit enjoys freedom and has no restrictions.

The third and the last day is called Kanya Sankranti or Uttarayan. This particular day is devoted to the worship of the wisdom deity known as Goddess Saraswati. On this day, children are told to start their formal education as it indicates the value of schooling in the Hindu culture.

In addition to these rituals and customary observances, Makar Sankranti also has an important significance in astrology. It is the day when they signal an end to winter and announce spring with even longer days that bring hope and light after a period of darkness. Coming about this time of the sun’s transition into capricorn is also said to bring good tidings and or opportunities.

Makar Sankranti is celebrated across various states of India with different cultural customs. It is referred to as Pongal in the southern states and Lohri in Punjab. In Assam, it is called Magh Bihu and on this occasion folk dancing and musical performances are enjoyed.

How to celebrate Makar Sankranti with family at home?

Getting ready for the festival:

Get up early and wear traditional attire. Decorate your house with rangoli, flowers and diyas to welcome positivity and good luck. Cleaning the house, especially the Pooja room as performing Puja is auspicious for devotees.

Teach your kids how to tie kite strings and decorate kites with bright colors while involving them in the preparations. This would not only make them happy, but also teach them about kites flying significance.

Puja rituals:

Make a special Pooja thali with til, flowers, kapoor dhoop and fruits. Chant mantras and perform aarti with your family to fill positive energy. You can make offerings of til laddoos, gajak and more traditional sweets before the deity.

Teach your kids that Makar Sankranti stands for much more than just the sun turning northwards and seek their participation in this important occasion of worship. This will make them appreciate their culture and traditions. Engage them in the preparation of dishes like til ke ladoo, chikki and khichdi.

Kite flying:

Kite flying is an important and the most fun-loaded part of Makar Sankranti. It is a sign of hope, positivity and delight. This day, take your family to the terrace or open place where you enjoy flying colorful kites, having a dish of traditional snacks such as chivda, popcorns, and gajak.

Host a kite flying contest for your children and their friends, or even neighbors to help encourage them. Not only will this create a feeling of comradeship but also help maintain the festive mood in accordance with it. Allow your children to make their own kite and let them do some décor using their imaginations.

Organize a short sunny picnic:

Organize a short picnic for your family and friends to make the festival memorable. Bring tasty food, play games, bask in the warm sun rays and enjoy a festive mood. Seize this moment to build bonds with your near and dear ones, who shall cherish these associations throughout their lives.

Take your children to a garden or park and arrange some games for them like kite making, coloring or storytelling related to Makar Sankranti. Tell the kids some stories associated with this festival. This will not only keep them occupied but also learn about the festival and what it means.

Give back to society:

Makar Sankranti is an occasion of giving and sharing joy. Use this chance to offer food or clothing for those who have none. You can even do voluntary work in an orphanage, old age home or any charity based organization. This will bring not only a good feeling in you, but also joy to the needy.

Kids should learn about doing good to society with some of these activities. Here, we can urge them to donate their used toys or reading materials to other children that may not afford them. This will bring compassion, kindness and generosity inside them.

Teach Gayatri Mantra to kids:

On such a special day, make some time to teach your children the Gayatri Mantra. This sacred mantra is considered to have a lot of powers and chanting the same together as a family can bring in positivity and luck. Tell your children what the mantra means and instruct them to chant it every day.

In short, the Makar Sankranti is a festival which denotes the entrance of sun into sign Makar Rashi or Capricorn. It is a time to bring in the new with a positive attitude and discard the old. Remember to celebrate this festival in the right way such as performing some traditional rites and rituals, enjoying time with your loved ones or even attending community events embracing together with society. May this festival always give us the message to spread love, joy and warmth in all parts of life. So, clear your schedule for Makar Sankranti 2024 and enjoy the festive day!


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