Unveiling Makar Sankranti: Khichadi, Kites, and Spiritual Soar

Makar Sankranti, a radiant tapestry woven into the cultural fabric of India, heralds the celestial dance of the sun into Capricorn. This significant astronomical event not only marks the conclusion of winter but also signals the triumphant onset of longer, sun-kissed days. In the vast kaleidoscope of Indian festivals, Makar Sankranti stands out as a symbol of renewal, community, and spiritual awakening.

The festival occurs on January 14th each year, aligning with the solar transition into the zodiac sign of Capricorn. As the earth tilts towards the sun, the warmth of its rays intensifies, awakening nature from its wintry slumber. This natural occurrence is mirrored in the festivities of Makar Sankranti, where communities come alive with vibrant celebrations, illuminating the cultural diversity and spiritual unity that define the essence of this occasion.

The aura of Makar Sankranti is charged with fervor, as people across India engage in a multitude of rituals and traditions passed down through generations. Each practice, laden with historical and spiritual significance, weaves a narrative that connects the past with the present, creating a timeless tapestry of celebration.

At its core, Makar Sankranti is a testament to the cyclical nature of life, mirroring the eternal dance of cosmic forces. The transition of the sun into Capricorn symbolizes not just a change in seasons but a broader metaphor for personal and spiritual transformation. It beckons individuals to reflect on the passing of time, the cyclical nature of existence, and the opportunities for growth and self-discovery.

The festival serves as a bridge between tradition and modernity, blending ancient rituals with contemporary expressions of joy. The air resonates with the joyous sounds of laughter, the fragrance of traditional sweets, and the vibrant hues of kites that dot the sky. The spirit of Makar Sankranti transcends geographical boundaries, uniting people from diverse backgrounds in a shared celebration of life’s rhythms.

Makar Sankranti’s timing at the cusp of winter’s end and the promise of longer days infuses it with a unique energy. The warmth of the sun becomes a metaphorical catalyst for the warmth shared among communities during this festive time. It is a season of generosity, where families come together to share not only delectable treats but also the joy of each other’s company.

In essence, Makar Sankranti is more than a festival; it is a living tradition that evolves with each passing year, absorbing new influences while staying rooted in its timeless essence. As the sun journeys into Capricorn, guiding the world into a new phase, Makar Sankranti invites everyone to partake in the universal dance of life and embrace the beauty of transitions, both celestial and personal. In the subsequent sections, we will unravel the layers of this vibrant celebration, exploring the significance of rituals such as khichadi preparation, the exhilarating kite-flying festivities, the spiritual immersion in the Ganges, and the profound meanings that underpin these traditions.

Significance of Khichadi:

Khichadi, a humble yet symbolic dish made from the harmonious union of rice and lentils, emerges as a culinary cornerstone during the festivities of Makar Sankranti. Beyond its gastronomic appeal, khichadi carries profound cultural and spiritual significance, weaving together threads of unity, prosperity, and communal harmony.

At the heart of Khichadi lies the fusion of diverse grains, embodying a potent metaphor for the amalgamation of varied elements in life. The rice and lentils, when combined, create a wholesome and nourishing dish, mirroring the essence of unity in diversity. In a country as culturally diverse as India, where traditions and flavors change with every region, khichadi serves as a unifying culinary emblem during Makar Sankranti.

The act of preparing khichadi becomes a ceremonial ritual, bringing families and communities together. It is a shared endeavor, often involving multiple hands contributing to the preparation, stirring a sense of togetherness and collective effort. This collaborative cooking process not only binds individuals but also symbolizes the communal spirit that defines the festival.

As families gather to prepare khichadi, there is an underlying acknowledgment of the interconnectedness of lives and the shared responsibility for each other’s well-being. The simplicity of the dish accentuates the humility and egalitarian ethos that Makar Sankranti embodies. Rich and poor alike partake in this communal feast, transcending social and economic boundaries.

Beyond the literal ingredients, khichadi carries a deeper metaphorical resonance. The combination of rice and lentils is symbolic of the dualities present in life—light and dark, joy and sorrow—blended harmoniously to create a balanced whole. This metaphor is a poignant reminder of life’s cyclical nature, where contrasting experiences come together to form the tapestry of human existence.

Sharing khichadi extends beyond the act of consumption; it symbolizes the sharing of abundance and the spirit of giving. The communal feasting reflects a collective celebration of prosperity, emphasizing the abundance of both material and spiritual wealth. Makar Sankranti, with its focus on khichadi, inspires a mindset of generosity and mutual support within communities.

The act of distributing khichadi to neighbors, friends, and those in need fosters a sense of social responsibility and empathy. It transforms the festival from a personal celebration to a community-wide endeavor, reinforcing the importance of looking out for one another. In this shared feast, the boundaries between giver and receiver blur, creating a tapestry of interconnected lives.

Furthermore, khichadi holds health benefits that align with the festival’s spirit of renewal. A nourishing and easily digestible dish, it is considered a wholesome meal that provides sustenance and vitality. As Makar Sankranti heralds the transition from winter’s chill to the warmth of longer days, khichadi becomes a symbol of nourishment, rejuvenation, and the cyclical renewal of life.

In essence, the significance of khichadi during Makar Sankranti transcends its culinary role. It becomes a vessel through which the festival’s core values—unity, prosperity, and communal harmony—are expressed and shared. As families come together to prepare and distribute this simple yet powerful dish, they contribute to the vibrant tapestry of Makar Sankranti, weaving threads of connection and generosity that define this auspicious celebration.

Festival Celebration:

Makar Sankranti transcends the confines of a mere date on the calendar; it is a jubilant celebration that pulsates with the rhythms of life, growth, and boundless positivity. At its heart, this festival becomes a vibrant canvas upon which families paint their joyous expressions, creating a tapestry of cultural richness and shared exuberance.

One of the most iconic and visually striking facets of Makar Sankranti’s celebration is the tradition of flying kites. As the sun bathes the sky in a golden hue, vibrant kites take flight, transforming the atmosphere into a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of colors. The very act of kite-flying becomes a metaphorical dance with the elements, symbolizing the human spirit’s soaring aspirations and the pursuit of greater heights.

Families gather on rooftops and open grounds, their laughter and excitement harmonizing with the rustle of kites slicing through the air. It’s a collective endeavor where generations come together, passing down the art of kite-flying with each twirl of the string. This intergenerational exchange fosters a profound sense of continuity, connecting the past with the present and ensuring that the tradition lives on in the hands of the younger members.

The sky, adorned with a multitude of kites, becomes a canvas for both seasoned enthusiasts and newcomers to showcase their skills. Makar Sankranti isn’t merely about flying kites; it’s a festival that encourages friendly competition and camaraderie. The air resonates with joyous shouts and cheers as kites gracefully maneuver through the sky, engaging in a dance of agility and finesse.

Kite-flying competitions add an extra layer of excitement, turning the festival into a spirited arena where competitors showcase their mastery of the wind. The strategic battle to cut opponents’ strings, known as “patangbazi,” adds an element of strategy and skill to the festivities. Yet, amidst the competition, there is an unspoken understanding that it is the shared experience and the joy of participation that truly matter.

The festival’s celebration extends beyond the mere physical act of kite-flying; it becomes a metaphor for life’s journey. The highs and lows, the twists and turns—each tug of the string mirrors the unpredictable nature of existence. Makar Sankranti invites participants to embrace the unpredictability of the wind, finding joy in both the ascent and descent, much like navigating the winds of life.

Moreover, the visual spectacle of kites soaring against the canvas of the sky isn’t just aesthetically pleasing; it carries a deeper spiritual significance. The open sky becomes a symbol of boundless possibilities, inviting individuals to lift their spirits and reach for their aspirations. It’s a moment of collective upliftment, where the entire community is encouraged to set their sights high and let their dreams take flight.

In essence, Makar Sankranti’s celebration of kite-flying is a harmonious blend of tradition, skill, and shared joy. It is a celebration that transforms the sky into a living mosaic of dreams and aspirations, fostering a sense of unity and camaraderie among participants. The festival, with its colorful kites dancing against the backdrop of the azure expanse, becomes a living testament to the human spirit’s innate desire to soar, connect, and celebrate the journey of life.

Kite Importance:

Far beyond a mere recreational pursuit, kite-flying during Makar Sankranti is a profound cultural and symbolic practice that transcends the physical realm. The soaring kites that grace the skies become emissaries of deeper meaning, symbolizing the human soul’s quest for spiritual ascension and the pursuit of greater heights.

The act of flying kites during Makar Sankranti becomes a metaphorical dance with the wind, reflecting the innate human desire to break free from earthly constraints and reach towards the ethereal. As kites ascend, they carry with them the aspirations and dreams of those who guide them, creating a visual representation of the soul’s journey towards enlightenment.

In the symbolism of kites, there is a powerful message of liberation and transcendence. The sky, expansive and limitless, serves as a canvas for individuals to release their burdens, connect with the divine, and elevate their consciousness. The string that tethers the kite to the ground becomes a metaphor for the ties that bind the soul to earthly concerns, reminding participants of the delicate balance between earthly responsibilities and spiritual aspirations.

Moreover, the cutting of opponents’ kites takes on a profound symbolic significance. This age-old practice, known as “patangbazi,” transforms the skies into a symbolic battlefield where participants engage in friendly competition. Beyond the thrill of the chase and strategic maneuvers, cutting an opponent’s kite represents the triumph of good over evil. It embodies the age-old belief that by severing the bonds of negativity and adversity, one can emerge victorious in the spiritual journey.

The act of cutting opponents’ kites is not an expression of hostility but a symbolic breaking of metaphorical bonds that tether individuals to the challenges and obstacles of life. It becomes a cathartic release, empowering participants to overcome adversity, cut through negativity, and embrace the triumph of goodness. In this way, Makar Sankranti’s kite-flying rituals become a tangible manifestation of the eternal struggle between light and darkness, with the cutting of the string signifying the breaking of metaphorical shackles that hinder spiritual growth.

Furthermore, the visual spectacle of kites soaring and dancing in the sky fosters a collective sense of unity and shared purpose. As each kite takes flight, it adds to the vibrant mosaic of colors that paint the sky. The shared experience of navigating the wind, engaging in friendly competition, and witnessing the collective beauty of the sky’s transformation reinforces the communal spirit inherent in Makar Sankranti.

In essence, kite-flying during Makar Sankranti goes beyond a mere pastime; it becomes a deeply rooted cultural and spiritual practice. The soaring kites become messengers of the human spirit’s desire for transcendence, while the act of cutting opponents’ kites symbolizes the triumph of virtue over adversity. As the kites ascend and dance in the sky, they weave a narrative of liberation, unity, and the eternal quest for spiritual elevation that defines the essence of Makar Sankranti.

Ganges Bathing:

An intrinsic and sacred facet of Makar Sankranti unfolds along the timeless banks of the Ganges, where millions converge to partake in a profound ritual — the holy dip. This tradition, woven with spiritual significance, serves as a transformative journey for the devotees, offering purification and a spiritual rebirth as they immerse themselves in the revered waters of the Ganges.

As the sun rises on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti, the banks of the Ganges come alive with a sea of humanity, all drawn by the belief that this particular celestial alignment enhances the divine potency of the sacred river. The tradition of taking a holy dip during this festival is deeply rooted in the cultural and spiritual ethos of India, representing a symbolic cleansing of the soul and a quest for spiritual renewal.

The act of bathing in the Ganges is not merely a physical ritual; it is a symbolic journey towards purity and transcendence. Devotees wade into the holy waters, recognizing the Ganges as more than a river; it is a conduit to the divine. The sacredness attributed to the Ganges in Hinduism elevates this act of immersion to a profoundly spiritual experience, with believers considering it an opportunity to cleanse the mind, body, and soul.

The waters of the Ganges are believed to possess purifying qualities that extend beyond the physical realm. Devotees, with hearts full of devotion, submerge themselves, carrying with them the weight of sins and impurities. The belief in the transformative power of the Ganges is deeply ingrained, with devotees trusting that the sacred river has the ability to wash away accumulated karma and grant spiritual liberation.

Makar Sankranti, occurring at the cusp of winter, infuses the ritual with an additional layer of symbolism. The transition from the cold and dormant season to the warmth of longer days mirrors the devotee’s journey from spiritual inertia to enlightenment. The act of plunging into the Ganges during this celestial alignment is seen as a harmonization with the cyclical rhythms of nature and a personal reawakening.

The energy that emanates from the collective immersion is palpable. The riverbanks resonate with chants, prayers, and the rhythmic flow of the Ganges, creating an atmosphere charged with spiritual fervor. Families, pilgrims, and seekers stand shoulder to shoulder, united in their quest for divine blessings and inner purity.

Participating in the Ganges bathing ritual is not limited to any specific age group, caste, or social standing. It is a democratic expression of faith, where all are equal before the sacred waters. This inclusivity underscores the festival’s essence, emphasizing the universal nature of spiritual seeking and the shared yearning for transcendence.

Thus, the tradition of taking a holy dip in the Ganges during Makar Sankranti is a powerful convergence of faith, culture, and spirituality. It is a journey towards purification and renewal, where the sacred waters of the Ganges serve as a conduit for believers to connect with the divine. This profound ritual encapsulates the enduring spiritual significance of Makar Sankranti, inviting devotees to partake in a transformative experience along the hallowed banks of one of the world’s most revered rivers.

Spiritual Meaning:

In the tapestry of Makar Sankranti, threads of spirituality intricately weave through the vibrant hues of celebration. This festival transcends the external revelries, inviting individuals into a sacred realm of introspection, growth, and profound transformation. At its core, Makar Sankranti becomes a spiritual journey, harmonizing with the celestial dance of the sun as it moves into Capricorn.

The sun’s transition into Capricorn, marking the end of winter and the onset of longer days, holds symbolic significance in various spiritual traditions. Capricorn, associated with discipline and wisdom, becomes a celestial guidepost for seekers on the path to higher knowledge and enlightenment. Makar Sankranti, occurring at this precise juncture, becomes a cosmic invitation for individuals to align their inner journey with the universal rhythm.

As the sun bathes the world in its golden glow, it becomes a metaphorical beacon illuminating the path of spiritual growth. Makar Sankranti encourages a collective pause, a moment of introspection where individuals contemplate the cyclical nature of life and their own spiritual evolution. The festival becomes a reminder that, akin to the sun’s cyclical journey, our lives too are in constant flux, offering opportunities for renewal and awakening.

This auspicious moment, when the sun hovers in the southernmost part of the celestial sphere, is considered propitious for engaging in spiritual practices. The energy of Makar Sankranti is believed to amplify the efficacy of meditation, prayer, and acts of self-reflection. It serves as a cosmic portal through which individuals can delve deeper into their spiritual pursuits, seeking higher knowledge and a profound connection with the divine.

The festival’s inherent spirituality is not bound by any specific religious dogma; rather, it resonates with the universal quest for understanding and enlightenment. Makar Sankranti becomes a unifying force, transcending religious and cultural boundaries, inviting all to partake in the collective spiritual energy that permeates the atmosphere.

In essence, Makar Sankranti is a reminder that life’s journey is not merely a physical passage but a spiritual odyssey. The sun’s transition into Capricorn becomes a celestial metaphor, encouraging individuals to navigate the realms of consciousness and embrace the transformative power of self-discovery. It is a time to shed the old, embrace the new, and soar towards the heights of spiritual understanding.

Traditional foods on Makar sankranti


  • Ingredients: Jaggery (gud) or sugar, peanuts, sesame seeds, and sometimes added flavors like cardamom.
  • Preparation: Peanuts or sesame seeds are roasted, and a mixture of jaggery or sugar is prepared. The hot mixture is flattened and cut into squares once cooled, creating the classic crunchy chikki.

Lai Pattis:

  • Ingredients: Jaggery, sesame seeds, desiccated coconut, and ghee.
  • Preparation: Sesame seeds are roasted, and a mixture of jaggery, desiccated coconut, and ghee is added. The mixture is then shaped into small, round patties, creating a delightful combination of sweetness and nuttiness.

Gud (Jaggery):

  • Ingredients: Raw jaggery.
  • Consumption: In some regions, Makar Sankranti is celebrated by consuming pieces of raw jaggery. It is believed to purify the blood and provide warmth to the body during the winter season.

Sewa ka Ladoo:

  • Ingredients: Roasted vermicelli (sewa), jaggery or sugar, ghee, and chopped nuts.
  • Preparation: Vermicelli is roasted in ghee until golden brown. A mixture of jaggery or sugar is added, and the ingredients are shaped into round laddoos. It’s a delightful and energy-packed sweet.

Ramdana (Amaranth) Ladoo:

  • Ingredients: Amaranth seeds (ramdana), jaggery, ghee, and chopped nuts.
  • Preparation: Amaranth seeds are popped and mixed with melted jaggery, ghee, and chopped nuts. The mixture is then rolled into small round ladoos, providing a nutty and nutritious treat.

Til ka Ladoo:

  • Ingredients: Sesame seeds (til), jaggery, and ghee.
  • Preparation: Sesame seeds are roasted until golden, and a mixture of melted jaggery and ghee is added. The warm mixture is shaped into round laddoos, offering a sweet and nutty flavor characteristic of Makar Sankranti celebrations.

Chura Matar:

  • Ingredients: Flattened rice (chura), green peas, mustard oil, and spices.
  • Preparation: Flattened rice is soaked and then stir-fried with green peas, mustard oil, and a blend of spices. This savory dish provides a contrast to the sweetness of the traditional sweets and is enjoyed as a snack during Makar Sankranti.

These traditional foods not only add flavor and variety to the festive table but also carry cultural significance, reflecting the diverse culinary traditions associated with Makar Sankranti across different regions of India.


Til Laddoo:


  • 1 cup sesame seeds (til)
  • 1 cup jaggery, grated
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
  • Chopped nuts (optional)


  • Roast Sesame Seeds: Dry roast sesame seeds in a pan over medium heat until they turn golden. Keep them aside.
  • Prepare Jaggery Syrup: Heat ghee in the same pan, add grated jaggery, and melt it to form a syrup. Ensure it reaches a soft ball consistency.
  • Mix Sesame Seeds: Add the roasted sesame seeds to the jaggery syrup and mix well. Optionally, add chopped nuts for extra crunch.
  • Shape into Laddoos: While the mixture is still warm, take small portions and shape them into round laddoos. Grease your palms with ghee to prevent sticking.
  • Cool and Enjoy: Let the laddoos cool and set. Once firm, they are ready to be enjoyed.

The Significance of Til Laddoo on Makar Sankranti:

Til Laddoo sweet treat holds deep cultural and symbolic importance. These sesame seed sweets, also known as Tilgul or Til Chikki, are more than just delightful confections; they embody the spirit of unity, shared joy, and auspicious beginnings.

  • Symbol of Unity: Til Laddoo is often exchanged among friends and family during Makar Sankranti, accompanied by the words “Tilgul ghya, god god bola” which translates to “Accept this tilgul and speak sweetly.” This tradition is rooted in the belief that sharing these sweets fosters unity and strengthens bonds among loved ones. The round shape of the laddoo signifies the unending circle of love and the unity that binds people together.
  • Auspicious Beginnings: Makar Sankranti marks the transition of the sun into Capricorn, signifying the end of winter and the onset of longer days. Til Laddoo, made with sesame seeds (til), is considered auspicious during this time. Sesame seeds are believed to possess warming properties, making them ideal for consumption during the winter season. Offering and consuming Til Laddoo during Makar Sankranti is thought to bring positive energy and blessings for a prosperous beginning.
  • Nutritional Significance: Sesame seeds are nutritionally dense, containing essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron. The inclusion of sesame seeds in Til Laddoo adds a nutritional aspect to the festive treat. In the winter season, when the body requires warmth and nourishment, these laddoos provide a wholesome and energy-boosting snack.
  • Celebrating Harvest: In some regions, Makar Sankranti is also observed as a harvest festival. Sesame seeds, a common crop during the winter season, become a key ingredient in various festive dishes, including Til Laddoo. By incorporating the harvest yield into these sweets,communities celebrate the abundance of the season and express gratitude for the bounties of nature.
  • Spiritual Significance: The act of preparing Til Laddoo can itself be a spiritual practice. Cooking is often seen as a meditative and mindful activity. As families come together to make these sweets, it creates a shared experience that goes beyond the culinary process, fostering a sense of togetherness and spiritual connection.

In essence, Til Laddoo on Makar Sankranti is more than a culinary delight; it is a sweet embodiment of cultural traditions, auspicious beginnings, and the warmth of shared joy. As these round delights are exchanged and savored, they contribute to the festive tapestry, weaving together the threads of unity, auspiciousness, and the spirit of Makar Sankranti’s celebrations.



  • 1 cup peanuts or sesame seeds
  • 1 cup jaggery
  • 1/2 teaspoon ghee


  • Roast Peanuts or Sesame Seeds: Dry roast peanuts or sesame seeds until they are slightly browned and set them aside.
  • Prepare Jaggery Syrup: Heat ghee in a pan, add grated jaggery, and melt it to form a syrup.
  • Combine Ingredients: Mix the roasted peanuts or sesame seeds into the jaggery syrup, ensuring they are well-coated.
  • Flatten the Mixture: Quickly transfer the mixture onto a greased surface and flatten it with a rolling pin or spatula.
  • Cut into Squares: While it’s still warm, cut the flattened mixture into squares or desired shapes.
  • Cool and Break Apart: Let it cool completely. Once hardened, break it into individual pieces along the cut lines.

Chura Matar:


  • 2 cups flattened rice (chura)
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 2 tablespoons mustard oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped coriander for garnish


  • Soak Flattened Rice: Soak flattened rice in water for about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Saute Peas: In a pan, heat mustard oil. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add green peas and sauté for a few minutes.
  • Add Spices: Add turmeric powder and salt. Mix well.
  • Stir in Flattened Rice: Add the soaked and drained flattened rice to the pan. Mix thoroughly, ensuring the peas and spices coat the rice.
  • Cook Until Crisp: Cook on medium heat until the flattened rice becomes crisp. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Garnish and Serve: Garnish with chopped coriander and serve as a savory snack.

These recipes capture the essence of Makar Sankranti with their traditional flavors and celebratory spirit. Enjoy preparing and sharing these festive treats!

Makar Sankranti Khichadi Recipe: A Dish of Unity and Prosperity


  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup split yellow moong dal (lentils)
  • 1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 1 finely chopped tomato
  • 1 finely chopped green chili
  • 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 cups water
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish


  • Rinse Rice and Lentils: Wash the rice and lentils thoroughly under cold running water until the water runs clear.
  • Soak Rice and Lentils: Soak the rice and lentils in water for about 15-20 minutes. Drain the water.
  • Prepare the Tempering: In a large pot, heat ghee over medium heat. Add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, asafoetida, cinnamon stick, cloves, and bay leaf. Let them splutter.
  • Sauté Aromatics: Add the finely chopped onion and sauté until it turns golden brown. Then, add the ginger-garlic paste and green chili. Sauté for another minute.
  • Add Tomatoes: Stir in the chopped tomatoes and cook until they become soft and the oil starts to separate.
  • Add Spices: Add turmeric powder and salt to the mixture. Stir well to combine the flavors.
  • Add Rice and Lentils: Add the soaked and drained rice and lentils to the pot. Mix them well with the tempering and spices.
  • Cook the Khichadi: Pour in 4 cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer until the rice and lentils are fully cooked. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking.
  • Check for Consistency: Check the khichadi for consistency. If it’s too thick, you can add a little more hot water to achieve the desired thickness.
  • Garnish and Serve: Once the khichadi is cooked, garnish it with fresh coriander leaves. Serve hot.
  • Optional: You can add vegetables like carrots, peas, or spinach for added nutrition and color.

Top with a dollop of ghee before serving for enhanced flavor.

This Makar Sankranti khichadi recipe not only embodies the essence of unity and prosperity but also offers a wholesome and nutritious dish for your festive celebration. Enjoy the flavors and the communal spirit of preparing and sharing this special dish with your loved ones.

Makar sankranti in different parts of India

Makar Sankranti’s rich tapestry of celebrations showcases the cultural diversity and regional uniqueness of India, uniting people in the joyous spirit of this auspicious festival.

Makar Sankranti is celebrated with diverse traditions and regional variations across different parts of India. Let’s explore how this festival is observed in various regions:

  • Uttar Pradesh: Kite Festival: Uttar Pradesh is known for its vibrant kite-flying competitions during Makar Sankranti. The sky becomes a canvas of colorful kites, and people engage in friendly contests.
  • Gujarat: International Kite Festival: Gujarat hosts one of the most famous International Kite Festivals during Makar Sankranti. The skies of cities like Ahmedabad are filled with kites of all shapes and sizes.
  • Maharashtra: Tilgul Ghya, God God Bola: Maharashtrians exchange tilgul (sesame seeds and jaggery sweets) and say, “Tilgul ghya, god god bola” symbolizing the sweetness of relationships.
  • Punjab: Lohri: In Punjab, Makar Sankranti is celebrated as Lohri. Bonfires are lit, and people dance and sing around them. Traditional foods like sesame seeds, jaggery, and peanuts are enjoyed.
  • West Bengal: Ganga Sagar Mela: Thousands of pilgrims take a holy dip at the Ganga Sagar Island where the river Ganges meets the Bay of Bengal. It is considered extremely auspicious.
  • Tamil Nadu: Pongal: Makar Sankranti is celebrated as Pongal in Tamil Nadu. The festival spans four days, each with its own significance, including the preparation of the dish Pongal.
  • Karnataka: Ellu Bella: In Karnataka, people exchange a mixture called “Ellu Bella” containing sesame seeds, groundnuts, jaggery, and dry coconut, wishing for health and happiness.
  • Assam: Bihu: In Assam, Makar Sankranti is celebrated as Bihu. Traditional dances, feasts, and the lighting of bonfires are part of the festivities.
  • Himachal Pradesh: Magha Saaji: People in Himachal Pradesh celebrate Magha Saaji by eating a special dish called “saa,” which is a mixture of cooked rice, ghee, and urad dal.
  • Kerala: Makaravilakku: Sabarimala Temple in Kerala witnesses the Makaravilakku festival, where a celestial light, Makaravilakku, is seen atop Ponnambalamedu hill.
  • Rajasthan: International Kite Festival in Jaipur: Rajasthan joins the kite-flying fervor with enthusiasm, especially in cities like Jaipur, where the International Kite Festival attracts participants from around the world.
  • Andhra Pradesh: Bhogi: Andhra Pradesh celebrates Bhogi on the first day of Makar Sankranti, where people discard old belongings, clean their homes, and light bonfires.
  • Odisha: Makar Mela: The Makar Mela at the temple of Lord Jagannath in Puri, Odisha, attracts a large number of devotees who take a holy dip at the beach.


Makar Sankranti, with its kaleidoscope of rituals, vibrant celebrations, and deep spiritual underpinnings, emerges as a timeless tapestry that transcends the boundaries of time and culture. Beyond the festive exuberance, this auspicious occasion beckons individuals to embark on an inner journey—a journey of introspection, growth, and spiritual transformation.

As the sun gracefully moves into Capricorn, it casts its golden glow not only on the external world but also on the inner landscapes of the soul. Makar Sankranti becomes a cosmic junction, an opportune moment for seekers to engage in spiritual practices that align with the pursuit of higher knowledge and enlightenment.

The festival’s spiritual meaning is universal, inviting people from diverse backgrounds to partake in the collective energy of renewal and awakening. It encourages a pause in the hustle of daily life, fostering a space for introspection and contemplation. Makar Sankranti is a reminder that, like the sun’s cyclical journey, our lives too hold the potential for constant renewal and spiritual ascent.

In the symphony of Makar Sankranti, each ritual, from khichadi preparation to kite-flying and Ganges bathing, becomes a note contributing to the spiritual melody of the festival. It is a celebration that transcends the material, inviting individuals to explore the depths of their inner selves and connect with the universal forces that guide their spiritual journey.

In the tapestry of Makar Sankranti, spirituality is not a separate thread but an integral part of the vibrant whole. It is a celebration that, through its rituals and symbolism, whispers to the soul, encouraging it to unfold its wings and soar towards the limitless skies of self-discovery and enlightenment. Makar Sankranti, in its essence, becomes a timeless reminder that amidst the external festivities, the real celebration is the journey within.

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