Makar Sankranti, the harvest festival is fast approaching on January 14 on and it’s time to celebrate nature’s beauty. This auspicious day is all about a seasonal celebration honoring the Sun God or Lord Surya. It commemorates the Sun’s arrival in Makara rashi (Capricorn). People celebrate it by cooking khichdi, a rice and lentil mixture along with holding bonfires, flying kites and hosting feasts. They also exchange warm wishes and sweet gifts of gajak, rewri etc.
The gods who are believed to be in a state of deep slumber for six long months awaken in this period and colorful kites are sent out to the skies to greet them. Another theory behind the practice of flying kites is that by doing so, people receive the benefits of sun exposure. During winter, the body gets infected and the skin also gets dry during this season. When the sun moves in Uttarayana, the rays act as medicine for the whole body.
The markets are filled with colourful kite’s days before the festival of Makar Sankranti (Uttarayan). The street is filled with people a night before the main Makar Sankranti (Uttarayan) event, choosing their stash for kite flying the next day. Kite flying is also considered a mid-air contest and not just a friendly pass time. All daily activities are stopped for the day and everyone takes to the rooftops and roadways to fly kites and compete with each other. Kites of all shapes and sizes are flown, and the main competition is to battle nearby kite-flyers, cut their strings and bring down their kites. At night, kite fighters send up bright white kites that are seen in the darkness.