Makar Sankranti or Sankranthi is celebrated on Makar Sankraman day. Four-day Sankranti 2015 starts on 14 January and ends on 17 January 2015. Bhogi marks the beginning of the festival and the festivities are concluded on Mukkanuma.
Makar Sankranti marks the beginning of Uttarayan or Uttarayana Punyakalam (sun’s transition towards Northern Hemisphere). In 2014, Makar Sankranti falls in Paush month in North Indian Hindi calendars, Marathi, Gujarati, Telugu, and Kannada calendars.
Makara Sankranti 2015 dates, Calendar…
14 January 2015: Bhogi Festival, Goda Kalyanam, Andal Kalyanam
15 January 2015: Sankranthi, Uttarayana Punyakalam, Makaravilakku at Sabarimala Temple, Gangasagar Mela. Magh Bihu (Bhogali Bihu).
16 January 2015: Kanuma
17 January 2015: Mukkanuma
Bhogi Pallu, Bhogi Mantalu, kite flying, Gobbemmalu, Haridasu, Gangireddu, etc are the important aspects of Sankranthi in Andhra Pradesh.
Makaravilakku festival (Makarajyothi darshanam) in Sabarimala Ayyappa temple, Gangasagar Mela in Sagar Island of West Bengal, Magh Mela in Sangam, Magh Bihu in Assam, Sankranthi Brahmotsavam in Srisailam Bramarambika Mallikarjuna swamy Temple in Andhra Pradesh, Uttarayan Kite Festival in Gujarat, etc. are the popular celebrations during Makar Sankranti.
As per the Sanatana shastras, Sankranthi is the most auspicious period for Punya Snan in Holy Rivers like Ganga, Godavari, Krishna, Cauvery, Narmada, etc.
“Ravi Sankramane Prapthe Nasnaya dyasthu manavah
Sapthajanma surogasyath nirdhanaschaiva jaayathe”
It means, Devata puja and stotra parayana are the best deeds to perform on Sankranti.
“Sankranti Purushotpatti – Kaale daanam swashaktitha
Phalam kansyadhi dhanyani deeyathe dosha naashanam
Phalaani mulanyajinam suvarnam graamaam shukaadhyam sathilekshu gavah
dhanyam kharaamshoh makara pravesh ethani daanaani visheshithani”
It states, during the period of Sankramana, donating dhanyam (grains), suvarnam (gold), phala (fruits), vasthram (clothes), vegetables, Til (sesame), sugarcane, cow, etc. is highly meritorious.
Makara Sankranti is celebrated as Pongal in Tamil Nadu; Uttarayan Festival in Gujarat and Rajasthan; Maghi Festival in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab; Lohri in Punjab; Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu in Assam; Shishur Saenkraat in Kashmir; Khichdi Parva in Uttar Pradesh; Maghe Sankranti in Nepal; Songkran in Thailand and Moha Sangkran in Cambodia.