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Makar Sankranti 2024: Date, History, Significance, Celebration

Published Date: 06-Jan-2023

Makar Sankranti is an important event, observed each year on January 15th. 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.

Meaning of Makar Sankranti

The festival of Makar Sankranti is the celebration of the sun’s journey from the Southern to the Northern Hemisphere. Makar translates as ‘Capricorn’ and Sankranti means ‘transition’. It is also known as Uttarayana and is considered to be an auspicious day. This day marks the end of the winter solstice and people believe in praying the Sun on this auspicious day. Uttarayana signifies a new beginning and this is why we celebrate Makar Sankranti Festival.

Is Makar Sankranti on the 14th or 15th of January?

Every year, the Makar Sankranti date falls on 14th January, if it’s a non-leap year and on 15th January, when it’s a leap year.

Makar Sankranti 2024 Tithi and Muhurat

Makar Sankranti 2024 date and time is January 15th, Monday and 07:15 AM to 05:46 PM . The muhurta for Makar Sankranti Maha Punya Kala is 07:15 AM to 09:25 AM.

Makar Sankranti History and Significance

15-January-2020 | Makar Sankranti 2020

15-January-2024 | Makar Sankranti 2024

Makara Sankranti is regarded as a spiritual day and people take a holy dip in rivers, especially Ganga, Godavari, Yamuna, Krishna and Kaveri. The dip is believed to attain absolution of past sins. 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.

Recommended Read: Deepawali 2024

 Makar Sankranti Celebrations across India

15-January-2020 | Makar Sankranti Celebrations  2020

15-January-2024 | Makar Sankranti Celebrations 2024

 While the celebrations are varied across the country, taking a holy dip in rivers and making special sweets from jaggery 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 freshly harvested grains, betel nuts and acacia nuts are offered at temples. People exchange the Makar Sankranti wishes by saying ‘Happy Makar Sankranti’ to each other. On the day of the Makar Sankranti festival, people fly kites and make Makar Sankranti rangoli along with other decorations.

Best Places to Observe the Celebrations of Makar Sankranti 2024

Makar Sankranti is celebrated across India with joy. There are regional variations and customs in different states to celebrate Makar Sankranti, like Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Uttarayan in Gujarat and Rajasthan, and Magh Bihu in Assam. Here are some famous places to observe Makar Sankranti 2024:

1. Prayagraj

Prayagraj host the Magh Mela on the day of Makar Sankranti. People take a dip in the holy Sangam of three sacred rivers (Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati). As the sun rises prayers are offered, and pilgrims span out along a ‘bridge of boats’ allowing them to immerse themselves in the water as close as possible to the actual point of the Sangam.

2. Ahmedabad and Jaipur

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.

3. Guwahati

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.

4. Tamil Nadu and Karnataka

Tamil Nadu celebrate the occasion as Pongal. 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 newlywed woman gifts bananas to other married women for five years, increasing the number of bananas each consecutive year.

Makar Sankranti Wishes

Here are some popular Makar Sankranti wishes:

  • This Makar Sankranti, the sun rises with hope, kites fly in the sky with vigour, and the crops are ready to be harvested – all signifying hope, joy and abundance. Happy Makar Sankranti 2024!
  • Hope this festive season brings joy to you and your loved ones; and may all your wishes come true this year. Happy Makar Sankranti 2024!
  • May this Makar Sankranti 2024 bring warmth, happiness, and positivity your way.
  • May this year you get new opportunities to turn all your dreams into reality and all your efforts into tremendous achievements. Happy Makar Sankranti 2024!
  • Enjoy this Makar Sankranti to its best and spread the sweetness of love with Rewri, Moongfali, and popcorn. Happy Makar Sankranti 2024!

Other Festivals in India with Holiday Type

Festivals in India Day Date Holiday Type
New Year’s Day Mon 01-Jan Restricted Holiday
Lohri Sat 13-Jan Restricted Holiday
Makar Sankranti Sun 14-Jan Restricted Holiday
Pongal Mon 15-Jan Restricted Holiday
Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti Wed 17-Jan Restricted Holiday
Republic Day Fri 26-Jan Gazetted Holiday
Losar Sat 10-Feb Restricted Holiday
Basant Panchmi Wed 14-Feb Restricted Holiday
Guru Ravidas Jayanti Sat 24-Feb Gazetted Holiday
Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti Wed 6-Mar Restricted Holiday
Mahashivratri Fri 8-Mar Gazetted Holiday
Holi Mon 25-March Gazetted Holiday
Good Friday Fri 29-Mar Gazetted Holiday
Easter Day Sun 31-Mar Restricted Holiday
Gudi Padwa Tue 9-Apr Restricted Holiday
Eid-ul-Fitr Wed 10-Apr Gazetted Holiday
Vaisakhi (Vishu) Sat 13-Apr Restricted Holiday
Rama Navami Wed 17-Apr Gazetted Holiday
Mahavir Jayanti Sun 21-Apr Gazetted Holiday
Rabindra Jayanti Wed 8-May Restricted Holiday
Buddha Purnima (Vesak) Thu 23-May Gazetted Holiday
Id-ul-Zuha (Bakrid) Mon 17-Jun Restricted Holiday
Rath Yatra Sun 7-Jul Gazetted Holiday
Muharram (Ashura) Wed 17-Jul Gazetted Holiday
Independence Day Thu 15-Aug Gazetted Holiday
Parsi New Year’s Day (Nauraz) Thu 15-Aug Public Holiday
Raksha Bandhan (Rakhi) Mon 19-Aug Restricted Holiday
Janmashtami Mon 26-Aug Restricted Holiday
Ganesh Chaturthi Sat 7-Sep Restricted Holiday
Onam Sun 15-Sep Restricted Holiday
Milad-un-Nabi or Id-e- Milad Mon 16-Sep Gazetted Holiday
Gandhi Jayanti Wed 02-Oct Gazetted Holiday
Dussehra Sat 12-Oct Gazetted Holiday
Valmiki Jayanti Thu 17-Oct Restricted Holiday
Karva Chauth Sun 20-Oct Gazetted Holiday
Dhanteras Tue 29-Oct Restricted Holiday
Kali Puja Thu 31-Oct Gazetted Holiday
Halloween Day Thu 31-Oct No Holiday
Diwali Fri 1-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Lakshmi Puja Fri 1-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Karnataka Rajyotsava Fri 1-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Kerala Piravi Fri 1-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Govardhan Puja Sat 2-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Bhai Dooj Sun 3-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Chhath Puja Thu 7-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Guru Nanak Jayanti Fri 15-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Christmas Wed 25-Dec Public Holiday


Q. How Makar Sankranti is celebrated?
A. On the day of the Makar Sankranti festival, people take a bath before sunrise, and exchange gifts, sweets, and Makar Sankranti wishes. Makar Sankranti decorations include kite decoration, house decoration, and Makar Sankranti special rangoli.

Q. What to cook on Makar Sankranti 2024?
A. Usually, sweets made with gur (jaggery), sesame seeds, and peanuts are prepared on the Makar Sankranti.

Q. Why we fly kites on Makar Sankranti?
A. It is believed that flying kites represent the significance of Makar Sankranti festival and is a way of thanking God.

Q. Which god is worshipped on Makar Sankranti?
A. The Sun God is worshipped on this auspicious day according to the Makar Sankranti background/history.

Q. When is Makar Sankranti 2024?
A. Makar Sankranti 2024 date is 15th January, Monday.

Q. Why do we wear black on Makar Sankranti?
A. Since Makar Sankranti marks the last day of the solstice, it is thought to be the coldest day of winter. Black as a colour will absorb more heat in comparison to the other colours; therefore keeping you warm on a cold winter day.

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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