Makar Sankranti or Kite Festival 14Jan.

The canvas of India is painted with vibrant colors of distinctive festivals celebrated one after the other throughout the year. These festivals offer Indians numerous events to enjoy, countless moments to spend together and incalculable memories to gather. One of the few festives celebrated with profound joy in many parts of India is Makar Sankranti.

Let me take you to the narrow streets of Jaipur where you can feel the fine aesthetic fervor of Sankranti on the minds and hearts of people.

You know what Makar Sankranti means for Jaipurites? Sankranti is just the synonym of ‘kitefestival’. The aura of Jaipur on Sankranti can be excellently narrated by words like- ‘KaiPo Che’, ‘Wo Kaate’, ‘Charkhi’, ‘Manjha’, ‘Till ke Laddu’, ‘Feeni’ etc. etc. etc. As soon as one hears up the name of Makar Sankranti, the only thing that can strike his mind at that time is a blissful day of kites and kites everywhere.

As per Hindu mythology, this festive is celebrated on the day when the sun after ending up its southward journey, now begins its northward journey from DhanuRaashi (Sagittarius) to MakarRaashi(Capricorn) or in short towards Tropic of Cancer. That is why it is also popularly known as ‘Uttarayan’, i.e., uttar meaning north and ayan meaning movement. In short, this is one of the few festivals celebrated according to solar calendar, the rest being celebrated according to lunar one. Probably, this is the reason that the ‘tithi’ of Sankranti does not fluctuate while for the other festivals does. Moreover, as per the Hindu tradition such movement of the sun begins in the month of ‘Magha’ which corresponds to the month of January of English calendar and as the cycle and movements of sun are fixed, it is celebrated every year on 14thJanuary. From past few years, the date of Makar Sankranti is being shifted to 15th January, probably this is due to the reason that the sun comes to its location 20 minutes late every year and thus culmination of these 20 minutes every year has made the day shift to 15th January.

Being mythologically so significant, it is difficult to answer how a solar movement came to be associated with flying of kites? Probably, this was due the belief that the sunlight on this day is good and beneficial for health. And thus, being on terraces for flying kites all the day long was the only perfect way to make people stick to their terraces. Also, Makar Sankranti falls on equinox and thus it also signifies that the days are going to be longer which marks the offset of winters and its cool waves. Well, whatever the story behind it may be flying of kites made this eve close to the hearts of Jaipur folks.

The level of excitement of people is immeasurable on this day. Just a few days before you can see hundreds of Jaipurites thronging along the city bazaars for purchasing hundreds of kites, manjha and charkha. People are so overwhelmingly excited for this day that they start tying ‘tang’ to their kites overnight. Early in the morning, they come up to their roofs with all their ‘patangs’ and ‘charkhis’ even before the sun comes up to the sky. And then begins the kite-fight, which is known as ‘pech-ladana’. A competition or a kite-fight fires away of flying kites higher and higher up in the sky and then swirling away other’s kite by ‘kheech’ and ‘dheel’. The one who wins this battle often shouts as ‘wokaate’ or ‘charkhisamet’, teasing the one who lost his kite! Some people give ‘chutti’ to the kites- so that the kite can go high in the sky just in few seconds! Speakers, often fitted by people over their rooftops, adds the spark to this kite fight. Standing over the rooftop of one of the street houses of Jaipur, all that you can see is wide panoramic view of kites and kites around you.All this is WOW! The perfect destination to enjoy this frolic aura of kites in Jaipur is Jal Mahal, where your eyes would be amazed seeing expansive horizon full of colorful kites dancing in the blue sky.Apart from all this joy, Jaipur folks also consider this festival as religiously important. They associate it with ‘Dan’ and ‘Punya’. Different people practice different rituals. Some go to take holy bath in ‘Galtaji’ or ‘GaltaKund’ of Jaipur and offer salutations to the sun god. It is their way to worship sun god. The belief behind this holy bath is that it will dissolve all of their sins. People donates clothes, jaggery, seasame, Til ke Laddu and other articles of their choice. While some worship cattle and some others celebrate it as harvest festival when Rabi crops are harvested. As per hindu tradition people feed cow early in the morning,as the day starts, with Jaggery and Til and women use to exchange fourteen items (all of which are same) along with Til ke Laddu with each other just to exchange happy vibes among their relatives and neighbours. 

The best part is the food and snacks that people continue to enjoy with their kites on terraces. ‘Pos-Bade’ is the most favourite and popular food eaten on this day. It is basically ‘Dal Pakodi with Halwa’. ‘Feeni’, ‘Gajak’, ‘Chakki’, ‘Til ke Laddu’ all complement the kites. 

As soon as the sun begins to sat the kites are slowly replaced by alluring and captivating lanterns or wishing lamps,popularly known as ‘Aakashdeep’ or ‘Kandeel’. The sky lights up so elegantly with these innumerable beautiful lamps which fades away the stars and the moon. These lamps seem to be twinkling, shining and swirling with the golden shine all over the dark sky. Such a mesmerizing view! It is perhaps the most spectacular sight to behold!

The more fascinating part of Jaipur’s kite festival is the International Kite Festival held every year. It is the annual carnival which is organized in the famous Polo Ground of Jaipur, it attracts thousands of kite fliers from all over the country and rest of the world. Unique kites, dance performances with fine Indian taste and music keeps on adding to the vibrancy and zest of the fest!

Photography by Manav Singhi - Article by Garima Gupta
Important Planetary Actions on this day is that “Sun God” Enters in the “Makar Rashi” (Zodiac Capricorn). 
Kite Market, Haldiyon ka Rasta.
So my Makar Sankranti started on 13thJan at 09:P.M. When we all friends met together and decided to go for shopping of Kites and Manjha (Thread to Fly Kites). There are Many shops all around Jaipur Open till late in Night but the best place to do this Shopping is in the City, Haldiyon ka Rasta, Johri Bazar. And we went there only for our Shopping. Choosing the right kind of Kites and Thread is all together Different kind of Enjoyment.
After The Shopping, It was the time of some Midnight Street Food Samosas. . .  :)
Samose Wala
It was so Crowded that you have to Carry your Kites this way To save them From Any Damage.
So after all this I reached Home at 1at Night and Straight away gone for bed. . . But Little you Know.. . . after 2 Hours my Wife Woke me and asked me to get ready.

As I Told you before on this day “Sun God” Enters in the “Makar Rashi” (Zodiac Capricorn). So this makes this day one of the most auspicious day for hindus. And as per the beliefs If any kind of Good Deeds are done on this Day, Early In the Morning, they Multiply and wash your all Sins and you will straight away get the Ticket To Heaven.
Gau Shala
So we Headed for “Gau Shala” (Place where Hundreds of Cow Live) it was a 16km Drive and there we were Suppose to feed Hundreds of Gud (Jaggery) Cakes to Cows with our Hands. . . :) In total we were 7 People of Family to do this job, and after an Hour job was well done.. . . and once again I got the Ticket to Heaven. After that we all went to Temple and came back to home. . . then all the married women give Dan (Charity) to other 14 unprivileged women on this day, and rest all of us shoot Straight towards terrace.
Gud - Jaggery Cake
Feeding From Hand
Cow Home

This day is Total Holiday and you will find everyone on their terrace flying kites, Playing loud Music, Gossiping, Enjoying, Even your Lunch and everything is served on Terrace only, Sweets of the Occasion are Till ke Laddu (Sesame Seeds) and Pheeni.

Till ke Laddu (Sesame Seeds)

View Of Terrace

And at Last in The Evening When You are Totally Exhausted You just Drop Dead on your bed.

1 comment

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