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Day light will begin to increase on 22 December and on this day, the Sun will begin its northward journey which marks Uttarayaan.
The date of winter solstice changes gradually due to the Axial precession of the Earth, coming earlier by approximately 1 day in every 70 years.
Hence, if the Makara Sankranti at some point of time did mark the day after the actual date of winter solstice, a date in mid-January would correspond to around 300CE, the heyday of Indian mathematics and astronomy.
Sankranti is celebrated all over India with some regional variations.
It would take almost a week for my mom & my grandmother to make Ellu Bella & a couple of days before Sankranti they would spend atleast half a day making Sakkara Achchu /Sugar Candies & safely stored them away so that we kids wouldn't eat them before the festival As kids, we loved eating Sakkare Achchu/Sugar Candies & there would be quite a bit of leftover Sakkare Achchu / Sugar Candies post the festival, & I would carry one sugar candy in my snack box each day until the stock got over I love Sesame Laddoos or Ellu Unde as they are known in Kannada.
Sesame is loaded with Vitamin C & since these Laddoos are jaggery based, & has no fat in them, it makes an almost guilt free indulgence.
Sesame is known to increase body heat & that is the exact reason why Ellu Bella, Sesame Laddoos & other Sesame based goodies like Gajak are made during winter.
Makar Sankranti is a Hindu festival celebrated in almost all parts of India, Nepal and Bangladesh in many cultural forms.
It is a harvest festival that falls on the Magh month of the Nepali calendar (Hindu Solar Calendar).
Makar Sankranti marks the transition of the sun into the zodiacal sign of Makara (Capricorn) on its celestial path.
The day is also believed to mark the arrival of spring in India and the Magh month in Nepal and is a traditional event.
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Makara Sankranthi is a solar event making it one of the few Hindu festivals which fall on the same date in the Nepali calendar every year: 14 January, with some exceptions when the festival is celebrated on 15 January.