Tilgul, a sweet blend of sesame seeds and jaggery, symbolizes not only a treat but also honors Lord Vishnu's victory over an Asura, signifying auspicious beginnings.
In South India, Makar Sankranti bonfires serve more than warmth, symbolically incinerating negativity to pave the way for fresh beginnings.
Makar Sankranti spans borders, celebrated as Pongal in Tamil Nadu, a four-day harvest festival, and as Lohri in Punjab, marked by bonfires and folk dances.
During Makar Sankranti, vibrant kites fill the sky, and the controlling threads are coated with glass powder for a sharp edge, allowing the cutting of rival kite strings.
In Andhra Pradesh, during Makar Sankranti, villagers offer cooked rice to crows, seeking blessings for health and longevity from Yama, the God of Death.
In Maharashtra, tilgul gets a unique flavor twist as lime juice adds a tangy touch to the celebratory treat sweetened with jaggery.