The Equator of the Sun rotates FASTER than the Poles of the Sun. Because the Sun has magnetic fields running along its surface, this differential rotation causes the magnetic fields lines to be stretched around like taffy.
Where ever the magnetic field has broken free, it forms a pair of sunspots and a solar prominence (material dragged along the field lines).
Flares are created when the magnetic field lines become unattached, whisking solar material away from the Sun.
About every 11 years, the taffy gets so incredibly wound up, it simply *SNAPS*. The magnetic field lines re-align, and the Sun is seen during a MINIMUM activity stage again. However, NOW, Magnetic North and South have SWITCHED!