Makar Sankranti 2016 – The Grand Kite Festival of Gujarat
India is known as the land of festivals; being a multi-cultural, multi-religious land, we have a festival almost every month. The festive season kicks off with the harvest festival, Makar Sankaranti, which is celebrated across the nation under different names. In Gujarat, the festival is one of the biggest and most popular. Here in the land of Rann, the festival is cherished by flying kites. Yes, Makar Sankranti marks the biggest kite festival in Gujarat.
Unlike other Hindu festivals that follows the lunar motion, Makar Sankranti follows the movement of the sun. The day marks the beginning of the Sun’s transition into Capricon, the Zodiac sign. As a matter of fact the festival owes its name to this movement, Makar Sankranti literally means, Makar – Capricon, Sankranti – Transition. The festival usually falls on either January or 14th or January 15th depending on the beginning of the Utarayana, the north ward movement of the sun. If you are on a Gujarat tour in January, it would be a sin to miss the celebration.
The dawn on the Sankaranti morning brings out the millions of kite flying enthusiasts from Gujarat to their roof tops as they engage in a not so serious but intense battle of kite flying. On this very day, the deep blue sky literally turns into a color palate as the tiny specks of the colorful kites fill the sky. Soaring high above the kites is a metaphor for the happiness and revelry of the people of the Gujarat. The festival is so popular that it is one of the selling points for the Gujarat Tourism authorities. No matter what kind of Gujarat tour package you have choose make sure that the list includes seeing the kite festival; it would be one of a kind experience that will forever embed in your memories.
Apart from Gujarat Makar Sankranti is celebrated across India with great delight and glee. In the eastern state, Odisha, the festival is celebrated in a grand way. The people prepare ‘Makar Bhog,’ a dish that is made of the rice of the new harvest, milk, sugar, cheese and coconut. A Mela (fair) is also organized at different place, which adds more fun and excitement to the celebrations.