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Makar Sankranti 2023: Date, History, Significance, Celebration

Published Date: 06-Jan-2023

Makar Sankranti is an important event, observed each year on January 14th. It is different from other Indian festivals in the way that while the specific dates for those are governed by the Hindu lunar calendar, that for Makar Sankranti is decided by the Gregorian solar calendar. Falling in the Hindu month of Magh, it is primarily an astrological event, wherein the sun moves into the Capricorn (Makara) constellation. It also marks the end of the Hindu winter solstice and the beginning of longer and warmer days. Further, Makar Sankranti holds immense significance for the agrarian community as it is harvest time, when the crops sown in the winter start maturing. Owing to all these reasons, it is a time of celebrations.

Makar Sankranti History and Significance

15-January-2020 | Makar Sankranti 2020

14-January-2023 | Makar Sankranti 2023

The event is dedicated to Surya, the sun god; therefore, he is prayed to in the early hours of the day. It also marks the period when auspicious events, such as prayer ceremonies and weddings, can be performed. It is also mentioned in the Mahabharat as the day when Bhishma died by his own will.

Reccommended Read: Deepawali 2023

 Makar Sankranti Celebrations across India

15-January-2020 | Makar Sankranti Celebrations  2020

14-January-2023 | Makar Sankranti Celebrations 2023

 While the celebrations are varied across the country, taking a holy dip in rivers and making special sweets from jiggery and sesame seeds are common. Huge fairs are hosted in various cities; the largest and most famous being the Magh Mela held at Sangam in Allahabad.

Another common ritual is married women applying turmeric and vermillion on the foreheads of other married women, and offering each other household items as gifts. Further, five earthen pots with the freshly harvested grains, betel nuts and acacia nuts are offered at temples.

In Assam, it is celebrated as Magh Bihu, with feasting lasting an entire week. On this day, locals build temporary huts of bamboo, thatch and leaves. After eating the food prepared as part of the feast inside, they burn these huts the next day. Ethnic games like buffalo fighting and Tekeli Bhonga are also organised in villages.

The festivities in Ahmedabad and Jaipur revolve around the International Kite Festival, which attracts participants from all over the world. Some people choose to fly their kites in peace, while others engage in a competition to cut the string of others.

Tamil Nadu celebrates the occasion as Pongal, while in Punjab it takes the form of Lohri. In Karnataka, girls exchange plates full of offerings with each other; offerings generally contain sugarcane, red berries and bananas. In certain places within the state, a newly-wed woman gifts bananas to other married woman for five years, increasing the number of bananas each consecutive year.

Best Places to Observe the Celebrations of Makar Sankranti 

  • Ahmedabad
  • Jaipur
  • Guwahati
  • Mysore

Other Festivals in India with Holiday Type

Festivals in India Day Date Holiday Type
New Year Sunday 1 January Public
Lohri Saturday 14 January Restricted
Pongal Sunday 15 January Restricted
Basant Panchmi Thursday 26 January Restricted
Republic Day Thursday 26 January Public
Guru Ravidass Jayanti Sunday 5 February Restricted
Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti Wednesday 15 February Restricted
Mahashivratri Saturday 18 February Restricted
Losar Tuesday 21 February Restricted
Holi Wednesday 8 March Public
Ram Navami Thursday 30 March Restricted
Mahavir Jayanti Tuesday 4 April Restricted
Good Friday Friday 7 April Public
Easter Sunday 9 April Restricted
Vaisakhi Friday 14 April Restricted
Eid Ul Fitr Saturday 22 April Public
Buddha Purnima Friday 5th May Public
Rabindra Jayanti Tuesday 9 May Restricted
Rath Yatra Tuesday 20 June Restricted
Eid Al Adha Thursday 29 June Restricted
Muharram Saturday 29 July Public
Independence Day Tuesday 15 August Public
Parsi New Year Navroz Wednesday 16 August Restricted
Onam Tuesday 29 August Restricted
Raksha Bandhan Wednesday 30 August Restricted
Janmashtami Thursday 7 September Restricted
Ganesh Chaturthi Tuesday 19 September Restricted
Id E Milad Thursday September 28 Public
Gandhi Jayanti Monday 2 October Public
Dussehra Tuesday 24 October Public
Valmiki Jayanti Saturday 28 October Restricted
Karva Chauth Tuesday 31 October Restricted
Diwali Sunday 12 November Public
Bhai Dooj Tuesday 14 November Restricted
Chhath Puja Sunday 19 November Restricted
Guru Nanak Jayanti Monday 27 November Public
Christmas Monday 25 December Public

Sargun Preet Kaur
Sargun has an appetite for challenges and creative hurdles that can help her grow as she conquers them one by one. With an innate desire to travel the world, she weaves through life by visiting her dream destinations. When not in her creative zone, Sargun loves to smash in badminton and binge-watch her favourite shows.
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