Monday, January 14, 2013

Makar Sankranti and Kite Flying

Makar Sankranti is the day surya bhagvan (Sun-God) becomes Uttarayan. In other words, the sun begins its entry into the Northern hemisphere. This day is celebrated all over South Asia (India, Nepal, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia), under different names and with different customs.

Even within India, different parts of the country celebrate this auspicious day under different names! Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Lohri in Punjab, Maghi in Himachal Pradesh, and Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu in Assam, Makar Sankranti is one of the major festivals in Rajasthan. In all my 12 years in Patna, I did not see so much kite flying as I did today in Jaipur!

As this festival is about the Sun-God, people fly colorful kites as a "religious offering" to the Sun-God. I took some pictures today during my evening walk around my apartment. Sharing a few here...

Top: Who's the 'Lord of the Skies'?
Bottom: Tired and defeated!

Girls will be girls! :D

Sending our love to the Sun-God!

Since this day falls in mid-winter, food prepared for Makar Sankranti consists of energy and heat giving substances - primarily laddoos made with sesame and jaggery, known as 'Til-gud'.

Here's a couplet I found on the internet, about Makar Sankranti...

Meethe GUD me mil gaya TIL,
Udi PATANG aur khil gaye DIL,
Jeevan me bani rahe SUKH aur SHANTI,

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