The festival of kites is here. Sankranti marks the day when Sun transmigrates from its zodiac and moves northwards from Tropic of Cancer to the tropic of Capricorn. Makar Sankranti is a harvest festival in India, it is called by many names across the country. Its called Thai pongal in Tamil Nadu, Uttarayan in Gujarat, Maghi in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab and Bhogali Bihu in Assam.
This year the festival will be celebrated on January 14. People fly kites in the mornings and take a dip in holy rivers like Ganga and Yamuna. It is a ritual which is believed to wash away sins. In Gujarat people start manufacturing kites in large numbers a month before Sankranti. Melas are a must during Makara Sankranti and the most famous one being the Kumbha Mela. Though Kumbh Mela is held in many places occasionally but it supposed to be held every 12 years in Haridwar, Prayag (Allahabad), Ujjain and Nashik. It is called the Magha Mela or mini-Kumbh Mela in Prayag), Makara Mela in Odisha and Tusu Mela in parts of Jharkhand and West Bengal.
The festival is dedicated to the Sun God and is a marker for new beginnings. As the sun takes a new journey and when winter begins to turn towards summer according to Hindu Calendar. In Hindu epics it is called the Uttaarayan. In Mahabharata, Bhishma Pitamah waited for the sun to be in Uttarayan for him to die peacefully.