Updated January 15th, 2024 at 07:53 IST

Makar Sankranti 2024: Date, significance, traditions, food of the festival

Makar Sankranti reflects the diversity of cultural traditions in India, showcasing regional variations while uniting people in the spirit of festivity.

Makar Sankranti 2024
Makar Sankranti 2024 | Image:Pixabay

Makar Sankranti is a significant Hindu festival, which marks the transition of the sun into the zodiac sign of Capricorn (Makara). Celebrated on January 14th or 15th every year, Makar Sankranti holds cultural, religious, and agricultural importance in various regions of India. Falling on the 15th this year, the festival signifies the end of winter and the beginning of longer, warmer days.

Significance of the festival

Makar Sankranti, like Lohri and Pongal, is a time of celebration. For most parts of India, this period is the early stages of the Rabi crop and agricultural cycle, where crops have already been sown and the hard work in the fields is over. The time thus signifies a period of socialising and families enjoying each other's company, taking care of the cattle, and celebrating together.

Makar Sankranti traditions | Image: Pixabay

Traditions associated with Makar Sankranti

Here are some traditions associated with Makar Sankranti that gets the community together.

Kite flying

One of the most popular traditions associated with Makar Sankranti is kite flying. People across India engage in friendly and competitive kite battles, filling the sky with vibrant colors. The festival brings communities together for this joyful and spirited activity.

Kite flying | Image: Unsplash

Holy dip

Taking a dip in holy rivers, especially the Ganges, Yamuna, and Godavari, is a common ritual during Makar Sankranti. Devotees believe that the act cleanses the soul and brings blessings.

Offering prayers

Devotees visit temples to offer prayers to the sun god, Surya. Special prayers and pujas are conducted, seeking blessings for a prosperous and auspicious year.

Distributing Sweets

Like many Indian festivals, Makar Sankranti involves the exchange of sweets and traditional dishes. People share homemade delicacies with friends, family, and neighbours as a symbol of joy and goodwill.

Foods enjoyed during Makar Sankranti

Like every festival, Makar Sankranti is marked by delicious foods. Foods that are enjoyed with family and friends

Til sweets

Til-based sweets such as til ladoo and til chikki are popular during Makar Sankranti. Sesame seeds are considered auspicious and are believed to bring warmth to the body during winter.

Til laddu | Image: Unsplash

Gur delicacies

Jaggery holds cultural significance during Makar Sankranti. Various sweets like gur ki kheer, gur rewri, and gur til paag are prepared to celebrate the festival.


A simple dish made with rice and lentils, khichdi holds traditional significance during Makar Sankranti. It symbolises simplicity, unity, and the coming together of different elements.


Published January 4th, 2024 at 15:10 IST

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