Makar sankranti is one of the biggest festival celebrated in Maharashtra. On Makara Sankranti day people share tilgul. Also make gulachi poli/puran poli for god and celebration. As good will and to maintain good relation people exchange til-gul. People greet each other with the words “तिळगुळ घ्या, आणि गोड-गोड बोला /til-gul ghyaa, aani goad-goad bolaa” meaning ‘Accept this til-gul (sweet) and utter sweet words’.
Makar Sankranti is three day festival in Maharashtra
First day is Bhogi (भोगी).
Day 2 is Sankrant (संक्रांत).
Last day is Kinkrant/Kinkranti (किंक्रांत/किंक्रांती).
The story behind this festival is Sankarasur (संकरासुर) Rakshasa who was very brutal indeed. He started torturing and killing people. To finish off Sankarasur, goddess Sankranti (संक्रांति) appeared on the earth and killed Sankarasur. To celebrate the downfall of Sankarasur, people started festival Sankarti.
This is a special day for the women in Maharashtra where married women are invited for a get-together called ‘Haldi-Kunku’ (literally meaning turmeric-vermilion). Whoever invites for program, also gives gifts such as utensils, clothes etc. Typically, women wear black saris or black colored outfits. The scientific reason behind wearing black is that Sankranti comes at the peak of the winter season. Black color retains and absorbs heat, helping keep warm. Maharashtra is also famous for kite flying on this special occasion.
Celebration is also to honor, worship and to pay respect to Saraswati, goddess of Knowledge. At the start of this significant event, there is worship for ancestors.
Sankranti identifies a period of enlightenment, peace, prosperity and happiness which is post a period of darkness, ignorance and viciousness with immense sorrow. The six months of northern movement of the sun follows six months of southern movement.
People celebrate this festival in mid-winter so food prepared for this festival is such that it keeps the body warm and gives high energy. Two main food distributed for festival are tilgul and til laddu. Sesame and jaggery are main ingredients for tilache laddu. Sugar and jaggery are main ingredients for TILGUL.