Maghi is the annual festival and one of the seasonal gathering of the Sikhs. It is celebrated at Muktsar in the memory of forty Sikh martyrs (Chalis Mukte), who once had deserted the tenth and last human Guru of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh at Anandpur Sahib, but later rejoined the Guru and died while fighting the Mughal Empire army led by Wazir Khan in 1705. Sikhs make a pilgrimage to the site of this Sikh-Muslim war, and take a dip in the sacred water tanks of Muktsar.
|Type||religious and cultural|
|Significance||Midwinter festival, celebration of Winter Solstice|
|Celebrations||Ritual bathing, eat traditional food|
|Begins||1st Magh Sangrand Punjabi calendar|
|2017 date||Saturday, 14 January|
|2018 date||Sunday, 14 January|
|2019 date||Tuesday, 15 January|
|Related to||Makar Sankranti|
A fair (mela) is held at Muktsar Sahib every year and called the Mela Maghi is held in memory of the forty Sikh martyrs. Before this tradition started to commemorate the Sikh martyrs who gave their lives to protect the tenth Guru, the festival was observed and mentioned by Guru Amar Das, the third Guru of Sikhism.
Makar Sankranti celebrated in other parts of Indian subcontinent by Hindus, is known as Maghi in Punjab and is always on the first day of the month of Magha in Bikrami calendar. On Maghi, when the sun takes its northern journey on entering the sign of Makara or Capricorn, the Hindus take bath in the Ganges or if that is not possible, in some other river, rivulet, canal or pond. It follows the festival of Lohri in north India, particularly popular in the Punjab region.
Maghi is celebrated by people eating kheer such as Rauh di kheer which is an old dish where rice is cooked in sugarcane juice. The dish is prepared in the evening before Maghi and is kept to cool. It is served cold next morning on Maghi with red-chilly mixed curd. In some parts of Punjab, India, it is also traditional to eat kichdi mixed with lentils, consume raw sugarcane and jaggery, Fairs are held at many places on Maghi.
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