The date 14th January, everyone eagerly waits for it. An auspicious occasion i.e. Makar Sankranti is celebrated on this day at various places of India with different names and significance but with high spirit. It’s an important festival of the Hindus.
On this day sun passes from one sign of the zodiac to the next. It is among the cherished festivals of people of India which is celebrated with zest and fervour.The entire nation welcomes the new season of harvest in different styles, but with a single notion of joy.
I have stayed many years in Gujarat and have celebrated this festival all those years so i would love to share in detail my personal experience of this festival of Uttarayan known as ” Festival Of Kites “
The entire city – with friends, families and relatives – was gathered on rooftops. Everyone was gets engaged in a kite flying . For days preceding the Festival of Makar Sankranti (Uttarayan), the markets are filled with colourful kites. They are all waiting to be bought by the heaps. The night before the main Makar Sankranti (Uttarayan) day, markets are choc-a-bloc with people. They are all selecting their stash for kite flying the next day.All sorts of colourful shiny toys act as accompaniments to the kites! The atmosphere is not short of a carnival. Festivities are in the air! Of course, the Bollywood stars are ubiquitous! People will literally take them soaring to the skies ! Manjha or Firki is the thread tied to the kites. It is made by specific communities. Each colour stands for a specific community. It is not just a regular thread. Manjha is coated with powdered glass, making it extremely sharp. Kite fliers are aware of this. The expert ones always take proper precautions. Their fingers are heavily bandaged before the start of kite flying.
In Gujarat, a special winter vegetable called Jain Kathiavadi Undhiyu is the speciality of the day. It’s a preparation of several beans, roots and other local seasonal vegetables. People eats Til Chikki – ( Caramelized Seasame Seeds ) , Mamra Na Laddu | Murmura Laddu | Puffed Rice Balls Then there are the twisted and crooked orange spirals called jalebee.Their explosive sweetness is a perfect accompaniment to the rustic goodness of the Jain Kathiavadi Undhiyu .
And you will definitely find children and adults both spending hours and hours on building terraces, flying kites and shouting instructions to cut others in the air and screaming ‘Kai Po Che’ when they finally do. Look up in the sky, and you’ll see kites of all shapes, sizes and designs zipping through the blue sky.
The kites keep flying from dawn to dusk, and when the sun sets Chinese lanterns are lit and left to float up the night sky. Watching these lanterns light up the night sky almost feels like the stars have come closer to participate in the celebrations as well.
And yes, any festival is all about love! We all need big love !
- Uttar Pradesh
On this special occasion local people take ritual bath in the holy River Ganga. In Allahabad a big fair is organized known as ‘Magha-Mela’. And many people donate til, gud and khichdi to the poor ones.
In Punjab, one day before a Lohri is celebrated with zest and pomp. Major attraction of this festival is dance and food. Punjabis enjoy Bhangra in front of bonfire and women make popular cuisine of here i.e. Makke ki Roti & Sarson ka Saag in dinner.
- Tamil Nadu
In Tamil Nadu, it is popular as Pongal, and it is 4-day long festival. On this day Sun God is prayed for wealth and prosperity and for making the harvest successful. Rice pudding is prepared from the freshly harvested milk, rice and jaggery.
In Bengal, Ganga Sagar fair is organized on this special occasion. Millions of pilgrims from various cities come here to attend the special Puja for thanking the Sun God for good harvest. It is held at the place where the Bay of Bengal and the river Ganga(Ganges) join.
Bright and colorful kites with beautiful designs can be seen in Rajasthan especially in Jaipur and Jodhpur on this auspicious day. Children, Adults and all family members gather on the roof top and enjoy the kite flying. Women prepares til laddoos, Moongfali, gazak, and dal pakodi.
In Maharashtra, people wear black colored dresses on Makar Sankranti to keep the body warm and til (sesame seeds) also has importance because of it. Neighbors and Relatives exchange Til and Guds on this day.
Harvest Festival or Makar Sankranti is celebrated in Delhi for entrance of the harvest season. This festival also gives indication of coming of spring season. It is celebrated with joy and happiness.
Kite flying enthusiasts waiting for 14 January. Wonderful scenario of sky on this day make you stay at one place and allure you to feel the beauty. Every rooftop of house is seemed with families and friends gathering and some are flying colorful kites.
Get enjoyment of this festival at some other places with different methods. Hope, you will get new beautiful experience!!