Makara Sankranti or Maghi is one of the prime festivals in Indian culture. Sankranti is observed every year in the month of January to welcome the longer days.
The festival is dedicated to the deity Surya and marks the end of the month with the winter solstice.
However, due to heavy winds flowing at this time of the season, people are seen celebrating this festival by flying kites. Children and even adults in the country are engaged in kite flying while the southern India people are seen celebrating Pongal which is a weeklong festival.
During Sankranti, the women are seen inviting their relatives and neighbouring women to their home and offer them small gifts, while putting haldi and kunku to their forehead as a gesture of greeting them on Sankranti. People also offer sweet dish to each other, wishing good luck and to have a prosperous life ahead.
There also is a saying in Marathi, involved while offering sweets “til-gul kha, ani god god bola” which means to eat sweet and talk sweet as the word til-gul is the name of the sweet dish made out of sesame seeds.
Makar Sankranti is one of the few ancient festivals which are set according to the solar cycle, while a majority of festival in Indian culture are set according to the lunar cycle. The Hindu calendar is based on lunisolar cycle and is divided accordingly into festivals.This festival also marks the beginning of Uttarayana, northward movement of the Earth on the celestial sphere.