As millions of kite enthusiasts pitch themselves at the rooftops, waves of flying kites overwhelm an otherwise deep blue sky. On January 14, watch the sky change colors... like a rainbow in a glittering sun after the rain and bask in the glory of Uttarayan, when the skies of Gujarat give way to colorful kites
Why do we celebrate Makar Sankranti?Makar Sankranti is a Hindu festival celebrated in almost all parts of India and Nepal in a myriad of cultural forms. It is a harvest festival. Makar Sankranti marks the transition of the Sun into the zodiac sign of Makara rashi (Capricorn) on its celestial path.
When is kite festival in India?
As spring approaches in India, kites fill the sky in celebration. January 14 is the festiva
l of Uttarayan, also known as Makar Sankranti, which marks the movement of the sun to
the northern hemisphere.
History of Uttarayan
It is the time when children don’t need to be nudged out of bed, they are already wide awake before you reach their rooms. Bathed, dressed with a cap on (no throwing tantrums as mommy tries to put that on, for a change) they disappear up the stairs before you can say hello.
No matter how early you manage to reach the terrace, the best spots to fly a kite will already be taken. That one spot with the best wind will see an awkward looking crowd; with all flying their kites dangerously near to the guy who got there first.
You may not give any thought to the mixed vegetable shaak that your mom makes any other time during the short winter in Gujarat, but come Uttarayan and it is only ‘undhiyu’ that you want. Shops will sell readymade undhiyu, while mothers will cook undhiyu for atleast twenty families at one go.
Uttarayan means boxes full of til laddoos, badaam pattis, chakhris and every other wintry farsaan in the face of earth. One has to constantly munch on these dry sweets and savouries while strategizing the next move.
And worry not, even if your stock finishes, chances are you will find tons of your friends’ boxes strewn about the terrace.
Some of the people in a group will know zilch about kite flying but you can never tell; they will be dressed most appropriately for the terrace sport, will scream the loudest ‘Kapio che’ even when they aren’t flying one, will go ‘What’s up bro? Tu toh gaya’ threateningly to his friends and finally, upload an album called ‘Uttarayan 2016’ on Facebook before anyone else manages to.
Uttarayan is one great photo op; if your whole morning and afternoon has been spent flying and cutting kites, your evening will be spent lighting ‘tukkals’ or paper lanterns that go up in the air and make for the most breath-taking visual imagery.
Essentially, Uttarayan is two grand days of coming together as a family and community, celebrating the sport, food and season that Gujaratis all over the world love and cherish the most.
The International Kite Festival (Uttarayan) is regarded as one of the biggest festivals celebrated. Months before the festival, homes in Gujarat begin to manufacture kites for the festival. The festival of Uttarayan marks the day when winter begins to turn into summer, according to the Indian calendar.
Images of kite festival 2016