Makar Sankranti festival is not dependent on the position of the moon, but on position of the sun. On this day, the sun enters the zodiac sign of Capricorn. To pay for the difference that occurs due to the revolution of the earth around the sun, every eighty years the day of Sankranti is postponed by one day. In the present period Makar Sankranti falls on 14th January.
- It marks the beginning of the harvest season and surcease of the northeastern monsoon in South India. According to the Hindu calendar this festival falls on the month of Poush and at this time the sun goes from Dakshinayana to Uttarayana.
- Apart from a harvest festival it is also regarded as the beginning of an auspicious phase in Indian culture. It is also known as the 'holy phase of transition'.
- It marks the end of an inauspicious phase which according to the Hindu calendar begins around middle of the month of December. Hindus believe that any auspicious and sacred ritual can be consecrated in any Hindu family this day onwards. Scientifically, this day marks the beginning of warmer and longer days compared to the nights marking the end of the winter season and the beginning of the spring season.
- On this day offerings of new vessels, clothing, food, sesame seeds, pot of sesame seeds, jaggery, a cow, a horse, gold or land are made. The offerings depend on the capability of the person.
- On Makar Sankranti married women also make some offering. They take things from unmarried girls and give them sesame seeds and jaggery in return. Married women organize a ceremony of haldi kumkum where they apply vermilion and turmeric to the forehead and gift articles to other married women.