The festival of Makar Sankranti is celebrated in different names in different parts of the country. In Terai, it is known as Khichdi. Similarly, Tharu community celebrate the day as new year.
Just like many other Hindu festivals, this is also an important festival for Hindus to celebrate their harvest with festivities and colorful decorations.
What is unique about this festival is that, while all the other festivals follow the lunar calendar for calculating the precise date of every festival, this is the only festival that follows the solar calendar and hence it falls on the same date almost every year.
On the auspicious day of Sankranti, the sun transits to the tropic of Capricorn from the tropic of cancer.
It is believed that, Capricorn is the zodiac sign if Saturn. Saturn as we all know is Sun lord’s son. So, in other words, it simply means that the sun lord comes down to his son’s place to stay with him. Thus, it signifies forgetting old bitterness and quarrels in the past, leaving behind our well framed egos and stepping into a beautiful world of love and concern.
Establishing cordial relationships with the people we love, ending any kind of bitterness or grudges we hold and also creating a happy frame for us and for the people around us truly signifies why we should celebrate this festival.
Beginning from the day of Makar Sankranti, it is believed that a person who passes away during the six months starting from the festival day , that is during the period of Uttarayan reaches heaven directly and does not have a re-birth again.
These beliefs are very important aspects of Hindu mythology and it is popularly known that during Mahabharata, Bhishma actually waited for the Uttarayan period to commence to set himself free and left this world.