Everything about Makar Sankranti!
Do you think Makar Sankranti is just a festival of kites? Well, let’s dive into a whole lot of information about why and how Makar Sankranti is celebrated.
Makar Sankranti is a harvest festival and is celebrated almost all over India. The festival is celebrated in diverse cultural forms in different parts of the country. The festival is believed to mark the arrival of spring in our country. Makar Sankranti falls on the same date every year, 14th January, and is celebrated traditionally. Fundamentally, this is a thanksgiving festival for the harvest, and each state has its unique way to celebrate it.
Significance of Makar Sankranti
The festival of Makar Sankranti is associated with ample cultural significance. According to the Puranas, this is the day when Sun visits the house of his son, Sani, who is known as the swami of Makar Rashi (Capricorn). The festival is the symbol of the fruitful relationship between father and son. It is the son, who has to carry forward the family legacy and fulfill the dreams of his father.
Moreover, on this day, Lord Vishnu ended the dreadful terror of Asuras by drawing an end to them and burying their heads under the Mandara Mountain. Therefore, this festival also signifies the end of negativities and the beginning of an era of virtuous living.
How to Celebrate Makar Sankranti?
From dawn to dusk, the festival is full of enthusiasm and is a spectacle to witness! Kite flying is observed as a tradition of this festival. On the day of Makar Sankranti, the sky is full with a spread of kites of all shapes, sizes, and colors. People from all age groups can be seen on the rooftops, engaging in contests to try and cut each other's strings. At night, the kite fliers send up bright white kites that sparkle in the night sky.
Besides kite flying, Hindu women preach this festival. They practice a ritual of giving anything (linked with household, make-up, clothes, or food) along with sindoor to 13 married women. The first Sankranti after marriage is of great significance for a woman as she is invited for a big feast by her parents. Other than that, people also invite their friends and close relatives for special meals. Moreover, it is considered a good virtue to offer smalls gifts like til-gud (jaggery), til-laddu, dry fruits, fruits, and dry khichadi to Brahmins or the needy ones.
What's the most special?
Indian festivals can never get acknowledged without cooking special food items. Hence, the day of Makar Sankranti is enjoyed by knocking up some scrumptious Rajasthani sweets such as til-laddu, til-Patti, gajak, gud-Patti, pakodi, puwa, kheer, and pheeni.
Precautions to Consider While Flying Kites
Flying kites on the occasion of Makar Sankranti is a great pleasure, but it can become an inconvenience if not treated properly. So, please be considerate of others. Always remember that if you're not taking precautions, then everything can become very dangerous. Thus, if you want to flaunt your skills, go ahead, but don't do it at the expense of others. Let's have a quick look at the safety precautions that, one should bear in mind while flying kites.
- Keep distance from people, and especially children.
- Always fly at a good height, so that your kite doesn't land onto a road, causing an accident.
- Maintain a safe distance from electric power lines while flying kites.
- Never fly in stormy weather.
- Don't let younger children fly kites alone. Always accompany them.
- Abandon a kite before putting your life at risk. Never chase a kite that is out of your boundary.
- A sky full of kites is no less than a death trap for birds. So, never fly kites after 5:00 P.M., as it is the time for birds to return to their nests. Also, it becomes dark, and you should never fly kites in the dark.
- Keep your kites away from animals like dogs, cows, and cats while landing them, as the strings of the kites can prove to be harmful to them.
Festivals can best be experienced at the heart of all the action. The festival of Makar Sankranti is a very vibrant and fulfilling one. It's time to celebrate the festival of kites with our family and friends. Let's bring down the strings of our neighbors' kites. I hope the occasion brings you joy and happiness.