Mesha Sankranti is also known as Maha Vishuva Sankranti. According to Vedic astrology on this day the Sun enters Mesha Rashi or Aries Zodiac. This day marks the beginning of the New Year in most Hindu Solar Calendars.
Various Solar calendars mark the first day of the year (or Vishu Kani for Malayalam calendar) based on Mesha Sankranti. Solar calendars follow different rules to mark the first day of the year depending on exact time of the Sankranti.
Mesha Sankranti is celebrated as Pana Sankranti in Orissa.
Mesha Sankranti is celebrated as Puthandu/Pongal in Tamil Nadu.
Mesha Sankranti is celebrated as Vishu Kani in Kerala.
Mesha Sankranti is celebrated as Naba Barsha or Pohela Boishakh in West Bengal.
Mesha Sankranti is celebrated as Bihu in Assam and as Vaisakhi in Punjab.
In South India Sankranti is called as Sankramanam.
For Mesha Sankranti ten Ghatis before and ten Ghatis after the Sankranti moment are considered Shubh or auspicious and this time window is taken for all Dan-Punya activities. If Sankranti occurs after sunset but before midnight then later half of the day is considered and if Sankranti occurs after midnight then first half of the next day is considered for Mesha Sankranti rituals.
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