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Makar Sankranti

Makara Sankranti, also known as Makaraa Sankranti or Maghi, is a festival day in the Hindu calendar, in reference to deity Surya (sun). It is observed each year in January. It marks the first day of sun's transit into the Makara (Capricorn), marking the end of the month with the winter solstice and the start of longer days.

Makara Sankranti is one of the few ancient Indian festivals that has been observed according to solar cycles, while most festivals are set by the lunar cycle of the lunisolar Hindu calendar.Being a festival that celebrates the solar cycle, it almost always falls on the same Gregorian date every year (January 14), except in some years when the date shifts by a day for that year.The festivities associated with Makar Sankranti are known by various names such as Maghi (preceded by Lohri) by north Indian Hindus and Sikhs, Makara Sankranti (Pedda Pandaga) in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana, Sukarat in central India, Magh Bihu by Assamese, and Pongal by Tamils.

The first day of festival is Bhogi (போகி). It is celebrated on the last day of Margazshi by throwing away and destroying old clothes and materials, by setting them on fire, marking the end of the old and the emergence of the new. In villages there will be a simple ceremony of "Kappu Kattu" (kappu means secure) will be done. The 'neem' leaves are kept along the walls and roof of the houses. This is to eliminate evil forces.

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