Sankranthi marks the end of the winter season and the beginning of the Harvest season. The main deity worshipped on this day is Lord Surya. The main mantra recited on this day is “Om Hreem Hreem Hroumm Sah Suryaya Namah”. It is generally celebrated on 14th or 15th of January every year. It is known with many names across various parts of the country. The other names are Pongal in Tamil nadu, Uttarayan in Gujarat, Khichdi in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, Maghi in Punjab and Haryana, Sankranthi in Telangana, Andhra and Karnataka. In Andhra and Telangana, the festival is celebrated for four days:
• First day: Bhogi
• Second day: Makara Sankranthi
• Third day: Kanuma
• Fourth day: Mukkanuma
The Sun is in the southern hemisphere before Makar Sankranti and hence the winter nights are longer and the days are smaller in India. Starting Makar Sankranti, the Sun begins to move towards Northern hemisphere and hence the days shall be longer and the nights would be smaller. Dakshinayan is the night of god which symbolizes the signs of negativity, whereas Uttarayan is considered the symbol of day which implies sign of positivity. On the day of Makar Sankranti, devotees take a dip in the Holy rivers of Ganga, Krishna, Godavari and Yamuna by chanting the mantras. Generally, the zodiac signs are affected by the Sun, but after the sun enters the zodiac signs of Cancer and Capricorn, it is considered to be religiously fruitful.
As per the Hindu mythology, the deity Sankranti killed a demon called Sankarasur. The following day of Sankranti is called Makar Sankranti since Devi killed a demon called Kinkarasur. Makar Sankranti is incomplete without Til (sesame seeds) sweets and Jaggery. Til seeds are known to emit higher amounts of Sattva frequencies which helps in inner purification. Devotees distribute these sweets to their loved ones which symbolizes exchange of sattvika. People fly kites on the day of Makar Sankranti and is known as a festival of togetherness and harmony. Many fairs are setup across the country celebrating the festival.