Maghi is the regional name of the Hindu festival of Makar Sankranti celebrated in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. In Himachal, the festival is also known as Maghi Saaji or Magha Ra Saza. In Bihar and Nepal it is also referred to as Maghi Parva or Maghi Sankranti. Maghi is celebrated on first day of the month of Magh of Hindu Calendar. It follows on the heels of the mid-winter festival of Lohri which is marked by bonfires in North Indian fields and yards. The next morning Hindus see as an auspicious occasion for ritual bathing in ponds and rivers.
For Sikhs it is a community gathering to commemorate martyrdom of forty Sikhs (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 the war, and take a dip in the sacred water tanks of Muktsar.
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.