New Delhi: Makar Sankranti is a Hindu festival celebrated in January to appease the Sun deity or the cosmic light. The festival is also associated with harvest, which means that it is celebrated in different names Makar Sankranti in different states. For instance: Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Magh Bihu in Assam, Maghi in north Indian states and Sukarat in central Indian states.
Here are some lesser known facts about the festival.

1. Makar Sankranti marks the first day of the Sun’s movement into the Makar rashi (Capricorn) after the winter solstice. 

2. Makar Sankranti is the only Hindu festival to follow the solar calendar. 

3. The festival was not always celebrated in January. The festival was celebrated on December 31 a 1000 years ago.

4. Makar Sankranti is also popular in Nepal. As per Bikram Samwat (Nepali calendar), the festival is celebrated on the first day of the month of Magh, which marks the end of the ominous Poush month. 

5. The idol in the famous Brajeshwari Devi temple in Himachal Pradesh is made with 2,500 kg of clarified butter.