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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, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Odisha and 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: Vishu in Kerala, Vaisakhi in the Punjab region, Pana Sankranti in Odisha and on the day after Mesha Sankranti, is Pohela Boishakh in Bengal and Bohag Bihu in Assam.
- 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 the solar month. In Southern Bhutan and Nepal it is celebrated by eating wild potatoes (tarul). The 2017 date is December 17.
- 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.