Difference Between Uttarayan and Dakshinayan

By K Balaji|Updated : November 28th, 2022

The Difference Between Uttarayan and Dakshinayan is that Uttarayan is considered a positive sign, whereas Dakshinayan is a negative one. Uttarayan is celebrated as one of the main festivals in India. A day on the solar calendar marks the beginning of the Sun's Northward movement. The Hindu calendar suggests two Ayans in a year, meaning the Sun changes its motion twice in 12 months.

Difference Between Uttarayan and Dakshinayan PDF

The changes in the Sun's motion are known as Uttarayan and Dakshinayan. Both these refer to different periods and have their own significance. These solstices also relate to the changes in season. Check the difference between uttarayan and dakshinayan based on various factors along with their individual importance.

Difference Between Uttarayan and Dakshinayan

Even though Uttarayan and Dakshinayan are considered opposite to each other. They each have their own importance as per the Hindu religious practices. In the following table, let us see the differences between Uttarayan and Dakshinayan in detail.

Uttarayan vs Dakshinayan

Difference Between Uttarayan and Dakshinayan



The meaning of Uttarayan is Summer Solstice.

The meaning of Dakshinayan is Winter Solstice.

It is associated with positive energy.

It is associated with negative energy.

The spiritual and auspicious activities are conducted in the Uttarayan.

The spiritual and auspicious activities are not conducted in the Dakshinayan.

The seasons involved in Uttarayan are Winter with Spring and Summer.

The seasons involved in Uttarayan are monsoon, autumn, and winter.

The days are usually longer than the nights in Uttarayan.

The nights are usually longer than the days in Dakshinayan.

Uttarayan and Dakshinayan Overview

The difference between Uttarayan and Dakshinayan lies entirely in their significance to Hindu religious practices. Uttaryan is considered auspicious for enlightenment, whereas Dakshinayan is for purification, with fasting and worshipping given increased prominence during this period.

What is Uttarayan?

The summer solstice is called the Uttarayan, which starts on the day of Makar Sankranti, the 14th of January. This six-month-long period is when the Sun starts travelling towards the North. It symbolises positivity and encourages donations, marriages, charities, and other good occasions.

During this time, days are longer than nights. Rays of the Sun are considered healthy during Uttarayan; people leverage the benefits of sunbath by flying kites on the festival. The northward movement of the Sun spans three seasons winter, spring, and summer.

What is Dakhsinayan?

Dakshinayan is the opposite of Uttarayan and marks the period when the Sun travels back to Capricorn towards the South. The seasons of winter, monsoon, and autumn fall during this period.

It begins at the end of June, and the period is associated with negativity which is why auspicious work is generally avoided during Dakshinayan. Nights are longer than days during the period.

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FAQs on Difference Between Uttarayan and Dakshinayan

  • The major difference between Uttarayan and Dakshinayan is that Uttarayan has a longer duration of days and shorter duration of nights, whereas Dakhshinayan has a longer duration of nights and a short duration of days

  • This day is regarded as an auspicious occasion that relates to practices like taking holy dips in sacred rivers like the Ganges, Krishna, Yamuna, and the Godavari in an attempt to get rid of sins. It is believed to be a time to celebrate peace and prosperity

  • Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti is called the Festival of Kites, and Summer Solstice in English. The word is made of two Sanskrit words, ‘Uttar', meaning North and ‘Ayan', which means moving towards. Uttarayan stands for the Sun's motion towards the North. Whereas the Dakshinayan in English is called Winter Solstice

  • It is believed that Dakshinayan is the night of Kal Devas. It marks the period of shorter days and longer nights. Auspicious work is generally discouraged during this period as it is considered a time of lust and desire

  • The festival is celebrated on this day every year to mark the end of winter and the onset of the harvest season. It is a festival dedicated to the Sun; people worship the Sun, prepare delicacies, decorate houses, and fly kites. According to the Hindu calendar, this day suggests the entry of the Sun into the Makar sign.

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