Makar Sankranti is the harvest festival celebrated across India. This year it is celebrated on January 14 (Saturday). In Tamil Nadu it is called as Thai pongal, Uttarayan in Gujarat, Lohri in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab and Bhogali Bihu in Assam.
Origin of kite festival:
As per Hindu calendar, Uttarayan has been considered a day which marks the end of winter. While some say that Muslims who entered India from Persia practiced flying kites. But now it has gained popularity amongst all religions and is being followed by everyone during Uttarayan.
Caption: Jalandhar: Young girls perform a dance as they celebrate Lohri in Jalandhar. PTI
What to do on this Day:
Thousands of piligrims take a holy dip in one of the sacred rivers-- Ganga or Yamuna which is believed to wash away sins. Apart from preparing the most populart sweet 'Til gud ladoo' during Makar Sankranti, Many people across India will be seen flying colourful kites on their rooftops.
Caption: Allahabad: A sadhu swings his head as he takes bath at Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati river, during the the first royal bath on Makar Sankranti. PTI
Importance of this Day:
Makar Sankranti is dedicated to Sun God. It marks the day when Sun takes a new journey from Dakshinayana to Uttarayan. In Mahabharata, Bhishma Pitamah waited for the sun to be in Uttarayan for him to die peacefully.
Caption: Mumbai : Children enjoy flying kites to celebrate Makar Sankranti. PTI
Benefit of Flying Kite on this Day:
The ritual of flying kites on Uttarayan has got its own reasons. Kite-flying is good for eyen neck and also reduces stress and tension.
Caption: Jaipur: People enjoy kite flying at Chitrakot Stadium during the International kite festival on the occasion of 'Makara Sankranti'. PTI