Makar Sankranti is a festival which is mainly celebrated in the month of January February and is usually a festival to celebrate the cold season. According to the Hindu calendar, this day marks the movement of the sun from Tropic of Cancer towards the equator. This is usually celebrated as a grand event and is revered by giving food emitting heat. So items like jaggery and til or sesame seeds are commonly exchanged during this time.
Til Laddoos are commonplace during this time and with sayings of Til Gul Ghya God God, bola Maharashtra resounds in Makar Sankranti celebrations. Halwa is a common delicacy made during this time and this is another important aspect of celebrating this festival. People usually wear black coloured clothes in Sankranti as a custom. In south India, Sankranti is celebrated as Pongal in Tamil Nadu and Makar Sankranti is very popular in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka too. South Assam celebrates it differently in regions like Hailakandi, Cachar etc. People make tents of grass here and stay overnight in these tents. On the morning of Sankranti they take, a bath and burn the tents tto feel the warmth. Burning is significant of eradicating sin. IN the day guests are invited and are given sweet dishes made from coconut, rice powder and sugar called pitha.
Makar Sankranti comes immediately after winter so the body could get some kind of disease due to this sudden transition. In fact, on the day of Uttarayan, the body is said to get the direct heat of the sun and all disease is cured in this time. This is the reason people fly kites during Sankranti as this gives an opportunity to be in sun for a long time.
Traditions are strange and are logical to a great extent. Wearing black during Sankranti also has a scientific significance. After the cold winter, the body yearns to get heat. Since Makar Sankranti is said to be the transition period, wearing black would ensure that heat is absorbed and stored, as the colour black does not radiate too much heat. Thus, the custom of wearing black began.
It is interesting to find the beautiful customs, traditions of festivals come alive, and Makar Sankranti is one such interesting festival with a lot to offer.