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Sankranti (Sanskrit: संक्रान्ति saṁkrānti) means transmigration of the Sun from one Rāshi (constellation of the zodiac in Indian astronomy) to the next. Hence, there are 12 Sankrantis in a year.
Each Sankranti is marked as the beginning of a month in the sidereal solar calendars followed in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala, Odisha, Punjab, Gujarat & Nepal . On the other hand, in the sidereal solar Bengali calendar and Assamese calendar, a Sankranti is marked as the end of each month and the day following as the beginning of a new month.
- Makar Sankranti: Marks the transition of the Sun into Makara rashi (Capricorn) on its celestial path, and the six-month Uttarayana period. Makar Sankranti is also called as Uttarayana - the day on which the sun begins his northward journey. The traditional Indian calendar is based on lunar positions, Sankranti is a solar event. The date of Makar Sankranti remains constant over a long term, 14 January or occasionally, 15 January as the Sun begins to rise in Makara Rashi.
- Mesha Sankranti: Marks the beginning of the New Year in the traditional Hindu Solar Calendar. On this day, the sun enters the sidereal Aries, or Mesha rashi. It generally falls on 14/15 April. Regional New Year festivals also take place on this day: Vaisakhi in the Punjab region, Pana Sankranti in Odisha and on the day after Mesha Sankranti, Pohela Boishakh in the Bengal region.
- Mithuna Sankranti: celebrated as annual menstruating phase of Mother Earth as Raja Parba or Ambubachi Mela in Eastern and North Eastern provinces of India.
- Dhanu Sankranti: celebrated on the first day of solar Pausha month. In Southern Bhutan and Nepal it is celebrated by eating wild potatoes (tarul)
- Karka Sankranti : July 16, marks the transition of the Sun into Karka rashi (Cancer). This also marks the end of the six-month Uttarayana period of Hindu calendar, and the beginning of Dakshinayana, which itself end at Makar Sankranti.
- "Festivals, Annual Festival - Makar Sankranti (Uttarayan)". swaminarayan.org. 2004. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
Sankranti means the entry of the sun from one zodiac to another.
- "Makar Sankranti". hinduism.co.za. 2010. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
There are 12 signs of the zodiac. There are 12 Sakrantis as well.
- James G. Lochtefeld (2002). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: A-M. The Rosen Publishing Group. pp. 351–. ISBN 978-0-8239-3179-8.
- "Festivals of Orissa - Dhanu Sankranti". orissa.oriyaonline.com. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
Dhanu Sankranti is celebrated on the first day of lunar Pousha month.