Sankranti is the Sanskrit word in Hindu Astrology which refers to the transmigration of the Sun from one Rāshi (sign of the zodiac) to another.
[Src: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makar_Sankranti ]
When is it celebrated?
Being a solar event, Sankranti comes every year on January 14. Makar Sankranti is basically a celebration of a cosmic event and human life.
Indians give importance to the sun as a god of intelligence and wisdom. Derived from ancient Indian language, the word ‘Sankranti’ means the transmigration of the Sun from one Rashi (Zodiac) to another, namely from Dhanu Rashi (Sagittarius) to Makar Rashi (Capricorn). This special day in mid-January marks the moment when the God Sun (Surya) begins its ascendancy and enters into the northern hemisphere. Regarded as the beginning of the harvesting season, this festival has various names all over the country, such as Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Bhogali Bihu in Assam, Maghi in Haryana, Shishur Saenkraat in the Kashmir Valley and Pithey in Benga
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Why is it celebrated?
This festival is celebrated for innumerable reasons depending on various climate, agricultural environment, cultural background and location.
For details on why it is celebrated, refer @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makar_Sankranti
How is it celebrated?
For details refer
Points to Note
* One major aspect of this festival is a must-take bath in the holy Triveni Sangam in the city of Prayag in Allahabad. Famous as the king of all holy places, this Sangam is the point of confluence of three rivers: the Ganges, the Yamuna and the invisible Saraswati. All the gods are said to visit this place on this day to take a dip. Thus, people believe that taking a bath or dip in this sacred Sangam will not only wash away all their sins but also clear the way to heaven