What is Sankranti|
The word Makar Sankranti derived from ‘Makar’ or ‘Makara’ which refers to ‘Makara rashi’the zodiac corresponding to Capricorn and ‘Sankranti’ in Sanskrit which means ‘to cross into’. It is the day when sun enters from one zodiac sign to another. So, Makar Sankranti is the day when the sun enters into the zodiac Capricorn. It is also known as Uttarayana Punyakalam or the entry of sun into the Northern Hemisphere
How it is celebrated in India?
Makar Sankranti is celebrated throughout India with a slight variation in the festivities.
In Maharashtra, sweets made out of Til dominate the day. The sweets are exchanged between friends and relatives. Married women in Maharashtra apply Haldi-Kumkum on each others forehead. Some houses invite married women and gifts are distributed.
In Rajasthan, especially in Jaipur, the most important event is the kite flying.
In Gujarat, the important event is the kite flying. Elders also give gifts to family members on this day.
In Uttar Pradesh and people living along the banks of Ganga takes a dip in the river on this day and offer prayers to Sun God.
In South India, it is an important harvest festival
How we celebrate it in USA?
Indian Americans, here in the USA, usually gather on weekends to celebrate such festive times. Starting this year, GIA brings Sankranti to Prince William County and celebrate such festive times with a Cultural & Talent Show.