The festival of Makar Sakranti was celebrated with great enthusiasm in the entire Keonthal area by worshiping the family deities and preparing traditional dishes. Hundreds of people of the area attended the festival of Magh Saaji in the temple of their family deity. Let us tell you that in Shimla and Sirmaur district, there is a special tradition of performing traditional worship of one’s family deity and goddess on the four major festivals of the year i.e. Baisakhi, Hariyali, Diwali and Magh. People believe that by worshiping the presiding deity on these four big Saaji, the Gods and Goddesses are pleased and it brings prosperity and happiness in the area.
Dayaram Verma, a senior citizen of Peeran village, said that apart from Keonthal, the festival of Makar Sakranti is also celebrated in the neighboring district Sirmaur in a traditional manner. This festival lasts for two days in which on the day of Lohri, people have a special tradition of making Siddu or Askaliya in their homes which is eaten with ghee. On the day of Sankranti, apart from the traditional dishes Kheer and Patande, people also cook Khichdi in their homes. Dayaram Verma told that this time there is a lot of confusion regarding Makar Sankranti. According to tradition, this time the festival of Makar Sankranti i.e. Magh Saaji was celebrated in some areas on 14th January and in some villages on 15th January.
Let us tell you that in Keonthal area, there is no tradition of worshiping fire by lighting bonfire on Lohri, this festival is celebrated with great simplicity. Whereas in the Giripar area bordering the border, the tradition of slaughtering goats on the festival of Madhi continues even in the changing environment. Senior citizen Daulatram Mehta says that with the festival of Maghi, the days start increasing and the nights start decreasing. He told that there is a special tradition of worshiping the family deity on the day of Makar Sankranti. People prepare dishes like Siddu, Askaliya, Kheer and Patande etc. with great fondness at home. He told that four major festivals have special significance for the worship of Gods in the mountains, which include Baishakh i.e. Bishu’s Saaji, Hariyali of Shravan month, Diwali and Makar Sankranti i.e. Magh’s Saaji. In the changing environment, the form of festivals in the rural environment has started changing, yet people still continue to practice traditional festivals, which enriches the culture of the area.