Kite flying in Ahmedabad during the last hour of Uttarayan
© Saumil Shah - flickr.com/saumil/Getty image
Up for a kite-flying contest?. Makar Sankranti
Observed on January 14—or January 15 on a leap year—the festival of Makar Sankranti marks the entry of the sun into the Capricorn zodiac as well as the end of winter and the return of longer days. The festival, celebrated differently depending on the state, is known by many names, such as Lohri in Punjab, Uttarayana in Gujarat and Pongal in Tamil Nadu. Although it holds regional variations, it is predominantly celebrated by flying kites, symbolic of the sun's transition. As part of the observance, communities come together to express gratitude for a bountiful harvest. Makar Sankranti is also marked by various fairs across India. Among them is the renowned Kumbha Mela, which occurs every 12 years in holy locations like Haridwar, Prayag, Ujjain and Nashik. Additionally, the Magha Mela, a mini-Kumbh Mela, takes place annually in Prayagraj, while the Gangasagar Mela occurs on the Ganges River.