No day could be better in welcoming the season of spring than Makar Sankranti. It’s not just because we love flying kites. This day sun moves forward from tropic of cancer to Capricorn saying goodbye to the season of winter. But all we remember the most is flying kites, eating sweets and greeting with words ‘Tilgul Ghya God God Bola’ and having lots of fun. The festival of Makar Sankranti is celebrated across India with different names. The festival is known as Thai Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Uttarayan in Gujarat, Maghi in Punjab and Bhogali Bihu in Assam.
This is the month of good heavy winds and sunny days. Only in the night, we see no kite! The time of joy and fun marks the beginning of the sunny day with kids gathered near kite stalls. The sky looks beautiful this day. With the hope of increment in success, the kites fly that high as per the rich beliefs. People of different ages take interest in flying kites. With a little touch of competitive spirits, people try to cut other kite’s threads with their kites. One cannot forget the ‘Ghai Bol Re Dina’ moment which is a happening moment happening on a successful kite attack. Kite is in the air! Kids never mind touring the entire city chasing kites that cost not more than Rs 5 or 10. The day is filled completely with fun.
This day in Maharashtra, sweets especially laddoos and Tilgul are shared by friends and households. The sweets are made of sesame and jaggery which also helps to keep the body warm from the chilling winds. We also remember politicians travelling houses to share their Sankranti greetings with Tilgul and ‘sweet sweet’ messages.
Some people follow a tradition of visiting temples and taking a dip in holy rivers like Ganga or Godavari. It is believed that one washes out the sins by taking bath in Holy River. Ayyappa temples in Nashik organize their final day of Makaravilakku Mahotsavam this day. And so, for many Makarsankranti is a marker of new beginnings.