About the Festival
The Makar Sankranti festival is unique in the sense, while all the other hindu festivals is based on the lunar position, the Makar Sankranti follows the solar position, hence its date is fixed. It is observed on 14th January each year.
It signals the transition of the Sun into Capricorn, which signals that the days becomes longer than the nights and also the beginning of the end of the winter season.
Since the festival falls at the end of the harvesting of paddy crops, its of particular significance to the rural and agricultural communities of the state.
In Odisha particularly the tribal belt, the festival holds immense importance and is celebrated with full vigour.
One of the other highlights of the festival is the Kites, which makes it popular festival amongst the teenagers and children. The skies are filled up with Kites of various colours and sizes. The colourful kites flying high up in the skies signify the happiness of the people as its a festival of peace and prosperity.
Kite wrestling is an important part of the routine and the glee on the face of the victor is something to behold.
Like most festivals in India, Makar Sankranti too has legends associated with it. It is believed that the Sun God visits his son Lord Shani who is the Lord of Makar Rashi (Zodiac Sign Capricorn) on this day, signifying the healthy relationship between father and son.
It was also on this day that Lord Vishnu finished of the terror orchestrated by the Demons, by beheading them and burying them under the Mandara Mountain, signifying the end of evil and ushering the the path of goodwill.