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I got a message on Christmas stating that there was a time when Christmas and Makar Sankranti used to be celebrated on their website same day.

After a quick web search, I found that Sun takes 20mins extra in it's cycle each year which means it would take 1day extra after 72 years.

Hence, Makar Sankranti would shift ahead by 1day after 72 years (or after a century). Makar Sankranti celebration on 14th January is going to complete that time and soon it would shift to 15th January permanently for 70-100 years and then would move to 16th January after a century and so on.

To testify this, I quickly checked Makar Shankranti dates on https://amp.drikpanchang.com/sankranti/makar-sankranti-date-time.html?year=YYYY website and here are the results:

  • year=0519 : 25dec

  • year=1019 : 01jan

  • year=1519 : 08jan

  • year=2019 : 15jan

  • year=2519 : 22jan

  • year=3019 : 29jan

  • ...

  • year=9019 : 21apr

So my question is Is it true that two thousand years ago Makar Sankranti used to be celebrated in December and would be celebrated in April after seven thousand years?

It might be difficult for future dates but atleast is it true that in 1519, Makara Sankranti was celebrated on 08jan?

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Answering my own question as I found this paper on Drik Panchang:

Hindu months (including Sankranti dates) are moving away from Winter Solstice. Today Magha Ashtami falls during the month of February but after couple of thousand years it would shift to March, then April and so on. This shifting of Hindu dates on Gregorian calendar is valid for Sankranti dates also. One can check that on Gregorian calendar during year 1600, Makar Sankranti occurred on January 9 and by the year 2600, Makar Sankranti would shift to January 23. Hence Sankranti along with Magha month is drifting away from Winter Solstice.

This wiki also says the same:

Every year sidereal and tropical equinoxes slide by 50 seconds due to axial precession, giving birth to Ayanamsha and causing Makar Sankranti to slide further. When equinox slides it will increase ayanamsha and Makar Sankranti will also slide. This misconception continues as there is not much difference between actual Uttarayana date which occurs a day after winter solstice (of Dec 21) when the sun makes the northward journey, and January 14. However, the difference will be significant as equinoxes slide further. In 272 AD, Makar Sankranti was on Dec 21. In 1000 AD, Makar Sankranti was on Dec 31 and now it falls on January 14. After 9000 years, Makar Sankranti will be in June. Then Makar Sankranti would mark the beginning of Dakshinayana.

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  • This is a well known phenomenon. There is well established concept of Ayanamsha which recognises this.
    – user22253
    Dec 21, 2021 at 17:14
  • 1
    i didn't know that.. this is 2 year old Q, nobody answered.. :) i found these links when i was searching for ur Q hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/49952/12304 @MrGreenGold
    – YDS
    Dec 22, 2021 at 2:53
  • if every year it slides by 50 seconds, it will take about 61yrs to shift by 1hr. So, to shift Sankranti by 1 day it takes 1464 years. If Sankranti was on December 21 about 2000 years ago, it can't be shifted by this much. Something doesn't add up.
    – Kanthri
    Jan 12 at 20:08

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