Essay on “Makar Sankranti” Festival
The only festival which falls on the same day every year is Makar Sankranti. It is celebrated on January 14.
Makar literally means “Capricon’ and Sankranti is the day when the Sun passes from one sign of the zodiac to the next. Although geographically, on this day, the sun passes from the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn. That is, the sun enters the constellation of Makar (Crocodile) and begins to move towards the north. This day has a very special significance because the day and night of Makar Sankranti are of exactly equal hours.
The people of India celebrate the day by eating ‘Khichadi’, prepared by mixing rice and dal. On the feast of Sankrant, ’til eating is considered auspicious. The reason is that it has nutritive and medicinal qualities. Women celebrate this day by applying ‘halad-kumkum’ on each other’s forehead. Children make this day even more colourful by flying kites. In North India, a ritual bath in the river is important on this day.