The Kite Festival or Makar Sankranti is one of the most celebrated festivals in the country.
The Hindus consider this as one of the most auspicious days and celebrate it with utmost devotion, gaiety, fervor and spirit. The Ganga River becomes a densely populated region as thousands of people take a dip in the holy water that day and worship the Sun.
This day is considered as the day when Bhishma kept waiting to come out of his mortal coil.
The Glorious History of the Festival:
The day of the Makar Sankranti begins with the ascendancy of the Sun towards the northern hemisphere. It signifies the importance of going higher into the sky and shining with more light so as to do away with all the darkness. The background story behind the wide-scale celebration of this festival is interesting. It is said that the Sun god visits the home of Shaini, his son who is the husband of Makar Rashi. Though they do not get along with each other nicely, the Sun God makes it a point to visit Shaini on this day. He stays in his son’s house for a month. Then it becomes the responsibility of the son to carry ahead his father’s dream. Thus, this day symbolizes the importance of the father-son relationship.
Celebration of the Festival:
Makar Sankranti is famously known as the kite flying festival in various parts of the country. Each year, Jaipur organizes the international kite festival. Gujurat and Jaipur are known for the celebration of their kite flying festivals. Rajasthan popularized the word Makar Sankranti whereas in Gujurat, it is known as Utran. Kite festival is also celebrated as Basant Panchami in some places of the country.
Celebrations of the kite festival in Kolkata are done on the eve of Vishwakarma Puja. The hindi translation of the word kite is ‘patang’. It is also known as ‘guddi’ in many places in India. ‘Manjha’ is the thread that is used to fly kites.
Importance of the Festival:
The festivals of Basant Panchami and Makar Sankranti fall in the winter season. The celebrations usually take place while the Sun is out in the sky. The sun’s rays are considered to be good for health during the winter mornings. Kite flying becomes a great way to receive the rays of the sun. It is good for the health of the people. This festival makes people go to the open grounds and roof tops to fly their kites and helps in the exercise of the arm and leg muscles. It is also a time when people come together to celebrate. There is a feeling of oneness in the atmosphere.
The kite flying festival brings in the lives of the people, joy and happiness. One is able to see beautifully stitched, colourful kites of all shapes and colours in the sky. It is a pleasant experience to witness the same. The kites fallen on the trees also decorate the tree. It is a festival which brings fun and excitement to the otherwise mundane lives of the people.