The wintry season that abounds with sweet rice
and mounds of dark palm-sugar dainties;
When Love waxes proud
and love’s sport is at fever-pitch;
when the anguish is intense of parted lovers;
May this season be to you ever auspicious
The Loom of Time-Kalidasa.
Makar Sankranti – literally the transition to the Capricorn constellation – is around Uttarayana (northward course). Around the time of Makar Sankranti there are a clutch of festivals which celebrate harvests and the end of winter and the arrival of a pre-spring period There are a number of common elements in terms of agricultural produce – rice/puffed rice, sesame seeds (til)*, jaggery and sugarcane. Coming as it does in the late winter, bonfires are lit in some parts of the country (e.g. Lohri and Magh Bihu). And of course there is the kite flying.