Makar Sankranti – Festival Facts
Makar Sankranti is when the sun starts its journey north bound; increasing sun light time on Earth. It is the starting of warmer days on Earth. Makar Sankranti or the Festival of Nature falls on the 14th of January.
The Festival of Kites
Colorful and creative kites decorate the sky as they are flown high in the sky by children. The free flowing kites symbolize the freedom from diseases like cold, caused by winter, from the body. After a heavy lunch, which consist of dahi chuda, red pumpkin curry, and a sweet made from jaggery, sesame seeds and rice (showing unity); people join together to fly kites. When they cut someone else’s kite, they exclaim phirko vet phirko.
How is Makar Sankranti celebrated in different states of India?
Men and women are seen offering sweets to the man and his colorfully dressed cow while he sings songs in praise of Lord Vishnu. History says this festival sends a message from the Sun God to all children to reach out and enjoy daylight and goodwill. People in Bengal dip their bodies in the Ganges to purify themselves. In Kerala it is said that if the milk spills over than pan, then it means that nature will offer plenty of goods. This festival also marks the beginning of the harvest season in Punjab.
Playing tekeli bhonga (pot breaking), or stealing firewood for amusement, or drumming the dhol, or dancing the naati dance (Himachal Pradesh folk dance), or making a muggulu (colorful rangoli with colored rice) or just decorating the cattle and parading it around; there are plenty of games to play on this day.
People donate their old clothes. Some people burn their old furniture etc. Young children get gifts from their elders. Hugs are exchanged all around.
Now take a piece of paper. Draw a kite. Paint it, color it, and stick pieces of paper on it with some glitters. Attach a string to it and let it fly on Makar Sankranti this year.
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