Most dates on the Hindu calendar are based on the movements of the
Moon and not the Sun. For this reason the Hindu calendar is a lunar
calendar. One exception to this is Makara Sankranti which is calculated
according to solar movements and so always takes place on January
Makara refers to the Makara rashi which is the sign of the zodiac
corresponding to Capricorn. Sankranti means to cross into. Makara
Sankranti is therefore the day that the sun moves into the sign
of the zodiac known as Capricorn.
This event is marked by different celebrations all over India with
various customs such as flying kites in Gujarat, bringing of different
sesame offerings to temples, and so on.
The Hindu Almanac
Hindu Months and Time Eras
and KetuThe Invisible Planets
Copyright © Sanskrit
Religions Institute 2003.
counterpart to Makara Sankranti is July 17th when the sun
its southern course. This is generally not celebrated because
it means the coming of darkness into the Northern Hemisphere.
All rights reserved.