As the sun transitions from Sagittarius to Capricorn, this change of the most prominent star in our constellation is known as Makar Sankranti and is celebrated throughout India and Nepal. With this festival comes Spring; a season of new life, hope and fresh beginnings, with Hindus believing that it also marks the end of an inauspicious phase in the calendar.

Whether it’s known as Makar Sankranti, Uttarayan, Pongal, Maghi or Khichdi, the festival is celebrated with the same amount of excitement and enthusiasm wherever you go. Sweets made of til (sesame seeds) are distributed in all of these regions, after being kept in front of an idol for blessings. It is thought that these seeds retain purifying properties and will cleanse sins when used or consumed; by sharing these sweets with families and friends everyone is sharing their spirituality. However for most of us, the biggest association with this festival would be kites; the sights of the brightly coloured kites being flown from the rooftops of Gujarat where the aim of the game is to be the last kite in the air!

For students at NHSF (UK), January is also a time for fresh starts. With exams beginning, we would like to wish everyone a Shubh Makar Sankranti, and we hope that the festival brings rejuvenation, excitement and renewed spirituality into all of your lives!

Priyel Upadhyaya