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According to astronomy changes in earth axis and orbit around the sun is the cause of
UTTARAYANAM and DAKSHINAYANAM. When the sun rises towards north-east is known as
uttarayanam. When sun raises towards southeast is known as dakshinayanam. It is hidden
fact that the sun will not raise exactly in the center of east. In a year, March21 and
September 23 are the two days in which sun will raise exactly on east.

AYANAM means travel. Uttarayanam means sun traveling towards north-east from equator.
Dakshinayanam means traveling towards south-east from equator. The Sun travels towards
North-East for 6months and South-East for 6months in a year.

Cultural Beliefs:

Ancient Indians described this phenomenon as Uttarayanam and Dakshinayanam.

Uttarayanam (6months) is single day for gods and Dakshinayanam (6months) is single
night for gods. Thus one year for humans is equal to 1 day for gods. Hindus consider Lord
Maha Vishnu will sleep in dakshinayanam and awoke in uttrayanam. They treat uttarayanam
as precious. Ancient Indians states that we need help of gods in dakshinayanam thats why,
so many festivals, fasting and holy fires were done in dakshinayanam. Legend Bheeshma
has a boon to choose his death day. Then he picked the day when Sun enters in to

Hindus give spiritual importance to the day called as Sayana Ekadashi. This day Lord Maha
Vishnu will go to sleep (Deep Meditation). All Hindus will start Chaturmas Deeksha from the
day onwards and ends this deeksha on Prabhodini Ekadashi which occurs in the month of
November where Lord Maha Vishnu Awakes.

Interesting Facts:
According to ancient texts uttarayanam is time period between Makar sankranthi (Around
mid of January month) - Karkataka Sankarathi(Around mid of July month) and
Dakshinayanam is time period between Karkataka Sankarathi(Around mid of July month) -
Makar sankranthi(Around mid of January month).

Scientific Reasons:
Sun rise and sun set are caused due to earth revolving around sun in fixed orbit. The
main reason is tilt in earth axis. This tilt causes change of pitch of earth when
revolving around the sun. This makes sun appear to drift towards north-east and
south-east in 6months variance. We can see mid night Sun(24hours Sun light) on
June 21 and December 21 at Arctic and Antarctic Circles respectively.

Scientifically sun rays are very low in the months of dakshinayanam. This lowers
immunity and digestive power in humans. That is the reason these traditions and
rituals came in the form of fasting, meditation and divine worship towards god.
These rituals will keep up immunity power in the body.