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Makar Sankranti (Hindu)

January 14

The festivities associated with Makar Sankranti are known by various names in different parts of India and the Hindu world. Names include Magh Bihu, Maghi (preceded by Lohri),  Thai Pongal and so on. It also marks the day of Winter Solstice as per the Hindu tradition.

Makara Sankranti is observed with social festivities such as colorful decorations, rural children going house to house, singing and asking for treats in some areas , melas(fairs), dances, kite flying, bonfires and feasts. The Magha Mela is mentioned in the Hindu epic Mahabharat. Many observers go to sacred rivers or lakes and bathe in a ceremony of thanks to the sun. Every twelve years (marking one complete revolution of Jupiter around the Sun) the Hindus observe Makar Sankranti with one of the world’s largest mass pilgrimages, with an estimated 40 to 100 million people attending the event. At this event, then they say a prayer to the sun and bathe at the Prayaga confluence of the River Ganga and River Yamuna at the Kumbha Mela.

More information can be found here and here.

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Date:
January 14
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