Lohri and Makar sankranti are not very far. Every household is already discussing about these colourful festivals. The children are excited about flying kites and devouring sesame (til) laddos and the Punjabi families are busy planning out the harvest festival with dance and fun.
Lohri is celebrated countrywide on 13th January. This is the harvest festival celebrated mostly amongst people from Punjab and has also spread out in Jammu, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana. This festival is celebrated just a day before Makar Sankaranti marking the end of winter season. The most important feature of this festival is bonfire. Everyone including children dance around the fire singing songs welcoming the new season. Famous Punjabi dances like Bhangra and Gidda are also performed with men and women wearing bright and colourful traditional outfits.
The transition of sun into Capricorn is celebrated as Makar Sankranti on the 14th of January. This is one of the very few Hindu festivals which occur on the same date every year barring a few exceptions. This festival also ends the ongoing mal-maas in which auspicious activities like weddings, house-warming, engagements are prohibited. With Makar Sankranti, auspicious periods are believed to bring in good results in just every field. To celebrate this festival sweets like tilli laddoos, gajak and other sesame delicacies are made. Known by different names Makar Sankranti is referred to as Thai Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Bihu in Assam, Uttarayan in Gujarat, Khichdi in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. People take dips in river water mostly and enjoy seasonal delicacies.
There is one more important aspect of this sankranti festival. There is a flood of kites in the market as people hold kite flying competitions to celebrate the festival. Some people also play satoliya or pittoo using seven stones and ball. These festivals are celebrated with vigour throughout the country and with the same faith as Diwali.