Salutations to the Supreme Lord who divided the year into the four seasons. Salutations to Surya, the Sun god, who on the great day embarks on his northward journey. The day on which the Sun begins to move northward is called Makar Sankranti. To many people Makar Sankranti ushers in the new year. The six month period which the sun travels northwards is highly favourable to aspirants for their march towards the goal of life. It is as though the aspirant were flowing easily with the current towards Supreme.
The day prior to Makar Sankranti is called Bhogi festival. On this day old worn-out and dirty things are discarded and burnt. Houses are cleaned and white-washed. Roads are swept clean and designs are drawn with rice flour. But in the life of the spiritual aspirants, it will not do to attend these external things alone. Cleaning the mind of its dirty habits of thinking and feeling is more urgently needed. Burn them up with a wise and firm resolve to tread the path of truth, love, and purity from this holy day onwards.
If you do this then Makar Sankranti has a special significance for you. For the Sun, symbolizing knowledge, wisdom and spiritual light, now joyously turns on its northward course and rushes towards you, to shed its light and warmth in greater abundance upon you and to infuse into you more life and energy.
The Sun itself symbolizes all that this day stand for. The message of the Sun is the, message of light, the message on unity, impartiality, true selflessness. The Sun shines on all equally, it is the benefactor of all beings. Without the Sun life would perish on earth.
-Swami Sivananda Saraswati