Published On: Sun, Jan 15th, 2017

After a 100 years, Makar Sankranti gets a new date

Makar Sankranti, which has been celebrated on January 14 for the last 100 years, will from 2019 be marked on January 15 or January 16, except in 2021.

What is sankranti?

Makar Sankranti marks the end of Malmaas, an inauspicious month in the Hindu (Panchang) calendar, and the transition of the Sun to the zodiacal sign of Makar (Capricorn) to herald a change in season. It is celebrated in the north as Lohri, in Assam as Bhogali Bihu and in the south as Pongal.

Students dance during the Lohri celebration at a School in Patiala. (PTI)

Makar Sankrati’s special significance is the Sun rays coming from the direction of North which is supposed to be the abode of gods. Hence, from this day, good forces are on the rise and the power of evil forces which reside in the direction of South diminishes,” said Pt Anand Shankar Vyas of Ujjain.

Tribals participate in community fishing as part of Bhogali Bihu celebrations in Panbari village, some 50 kilometers (31 miles) east of Guwahati. (AP Photo)

Why the shift?

According to Pandit Diwakar Tripathi ‘Poorvanchali’, director of the Utthan Jyotish Sansthan that decides on the Hindu annual calendar, there is a change in the planetary configuration of the Sun, on the basis of which the calendar is decided.

Students celebrating Pongal festival at their college in Chennai. (PTI Photo)

What stays unchanged?

Lohri, Pongal and Bihu will continue to be celebrated on January 13 and 14 because they are held according to date, and not as per the transition of change in the Hindu calendar

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