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Importance of 12 Sankranthi in Hinduism


There are 12 Sankranthi in Hinduism. Here is a look at the importance of each Sankranti. Sankranti literally means movement. It is the movement of Sun from one Rashi (zodiac) to the other.

Makar Sankranti (January 14 or 15) – Transit of sun from Dhanu Rashi to Makar Rashi (Sagittarius to Capricorn) - Uttarayan starts – the daytime of Devas begin from this day. It is celebrated across the world as Sankranti, Pongal and by numerous other names.


Kumbha Sankranti (February 12, 13 or 14) – Transit of sun from Makar Rashi to Kumbha Rashi (Capricorn to Aquarius). Devotees residing along the banks of holy rivers and in most eastern part of India celebrate this by taking holy dip in Ganges. Offerings are given to cows and to poor people.

Meena Sankranti (March 14 or 15) - Transit of sun from Kumbha Rashi to Meena Rashi (Aquarius to Pisces). Offer are done to sun god on the day by devotees.

Mesha Sankranti (April 14 or 15) – Transit of sun from Meena Rashi to Mesha or Meda Rashi (Pisces to Aries). The day is observed as New Year in Odisha, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Vrishabha Sankranti (May 14 or 15) – Transit of sun from Mesha or Meda Rashi to Vrishabha Rashi (Aries to Taurus). Prayers are offered to Vishnu and Shiva on the day. Donations are made. People also perform holy dip in sacred rivers.

Mithuna Sankranti (June 15 or 16) – Transit of sun from Vrishabha Rashi to Mithuna Rashi (Taurus to Gemini). It is known as Asharh in eastern parts of India. Prayers are offered to Vishnu and mother earth. Grinding stone is decorated and treated as mother earth. Homage is paid to ancestors.

Karka Sankranti (July 16 or 17) – Transit of sun from Mithuna Rashi to Karka Rashi (Gemini to Cancer) – The Dakshinayana or the night of the Devas begins. Prayers and pooja are offered to the departed souls in many regions during the period. Prayers are offered to Vishnu and Shiva.

Simha Sankranti (August 16, 17 or 18) – Transit of sun from Karka Rashi to Simha Rashi (Cancer Zodiac to Leo Zodiac) – Narasimha, Vishnu, Shiva and Surya are worshipped. Ganesha is offered special pujas and bath with coconut water. Havan is performed in the name of the various avatars of Lord Vishnu.

Kanya Sankranti (September 16, 17 or 18) – Transit of sun from Simha Rashi to Kanya rashi (Leo to Virgo) – Vishwakarma Puja is observed on the day in eastern parts of India.

Tula Sankranti (October 16, 17 or 18) – Transit of sun from Kanya Rashi to Tula rashi (Virgo to Libra ) – Prayers are offered to Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. It is also known as Garbhana Sankranti. Special rituals are observed at the origin of Cauvery river during the period.

Vrischika Sankranti (November 16, 17 or 18) – Transit of sun from Tula Rashi to Vrischika Rashi (Libra to Scorpio). The famous Sabarimala Pilgrimage begins on this day. Vishnu Sahasranamam and Aditya Hridayam are chanted on the day.

Dhanu Sankranti – Transit of sun from Vrischika Rashi to Dhanu Rashi (Scorpio to Sagittarius). The day is of great importance in Odisha and Tamil Nadu (marks the beginning of Margazhi Masam). Special pujas are offered at Jagannath Temple in Puri.