It is that time of the year when the markets are vibrant and colorful. From beautiful kites to colorful threads and from swanky hats, whistles, and shades to tasty treats, Gujarat is about to celebrate the most awaited festival of the year, “Uttarayan”. Uttrayan is also known as Makar Sankranti. On this day, kids are running around with kites and threads. People are excited and set to soak in the glittering sun throughout the day with kites, music, sweets, and more. The spirits are high as the joyous festival is around.
Significance across India
Makar Sankranti is not only celebrated in Gujarat but also celebrated with great fervours throughout India. It is significantly celebrated as a harvest festival as the spring season approaches. In Northern India, people dance around the bonfire and celebrate it as Lohri and in the South, the festival is known as Pongal. Hindus believe that all auspicious ceremonies should be performed after Makar Sankranti as the festival marks end of an inauspicious time.
On this day Sun begins its journey towards the north, it leaves the Tropic of Cancer and starts moving towards Capricorn (Makar). This day has special significance as after Uttarayan, days become longer and warmer. From this day onwards the days are equally divided. Hence, people worship the Sun God on Makar Sankranti.
Celebration & Tasty treats
The mornings begin with a holy bath after which both children and adults throng at the terrace with kites, caps, sugarcane, sesame ladoos, and more. Delicious dishes like jalebi, Undhiyu (in Gujarat), and puri are home-made as well as readily available in the market. People eat sesame ladoos on this specific day as it is believed that sesame absorbs negative energy and emits positive energy.
Evenings are filled with music and dance around the bonfire. From morning to evening the sounds of Kai Po Che echoes around the residences. Excitement is high while the kite fight is on throughout the day. The sky is hardly visible as it is filled with various colours and shapes of kites.
Care for Birds
Uttrayan is the most exciting festival of all but it is the toughest day of the year for birds to fly in the sky. The glass-coated threads are an invisible threat for birds and many birds are injured on this day. Various helpline numbers are available to help injured birds for immediate treatment. However, we should be a little careful and avoid flying kites early in the morning between 7 to 9 and during the sunset between 5 to 7 as, during these hours, maximum birds fly in the sky.
Also, do not fly kites on narrow edges of the terrace and take care of yourself and your loved ones.
Happy Makar Sankranti!