Makar Sankranti Celebration in Rajasthan

Makar Sakranti is a Hindu festival that is observed to mark the end of the chilly months of winter. When the glorious Sun starts its journey to the Northern Hemisphere, celebration of Makar Sankranti starts. It’s time to begin a new life with bright light within us to shine brighter and brighter.

This is the season when the skies are clear and the breeze seems pleasant making everyone in a jubilant mood. On the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankrati, bathing in Haridwar, Kashi and other spiritual sites have a great significance, and the joy of season is celebrated by flying colorful kites in the sky.

Since many years, the cities- Jodhpur and Jaipur in Rajasthan have been hosting Kite Festival on Makar Sankranti with great fervor. The main attribute of the festival is the show of ‘diversity’ in all aspects. Kites all shapes and sizes are seen in the sky and the main competition is to cut the strings of nearby kite flyers and bring it down. For this purpose people intend to make their strings and sharp as possible, to give a tough fight to its opponent flyer. The special kite strings are coated with the mixture of glass and glue called as ‘manjha’.

Bright and colourful kites in striking shapes and unusual designs, some never seen before, would dot the sunny sky of Rajasthan on 14 January, 2014. Jaipur host International Kite Festival from January 14 to 16, 2014 at the Jal Mahal ground.

image courtesy: Gaurav Hajela Photography

image courtesy: Gaurav Hajela Photography

Kites made of leaves, paper, plastics, shiny material cover the sky on this day. All members of family gather on the roof top to enjoy the festival. Women sing traditional songs. They also prepare special food like til laddoos, Moongfali, gazak, dal pakodi and Gajar Ka Halwa. Over the course of the day relatives and friends visit each other to exchange greetings.

Til ke Ladoo, Moongfalli and gajak

Til ke Ladoo, Moongfalli and gajak

Enjoy the rejoicing festival of Makar Sankranti!!

 

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Jaipur celebrated Makar Sankranti with Kites and Firework

Thousands of colourful kites dotted the skyline of  Pink City- Jaipur on Monday, announcing the festive beginning of the year.

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It seemed as if the whole of Jaipur had gotten together to celebrate the festival and engage in kite-flying. Rajasthan Tourism Department also organized a special kite fest for the both, the domestic, and international tourists at the Jal Mahal Ki Pal where tourists not only enjoyed kite-flying but also relished til ke laddoo, fini and gajak – special delicacies of the festival.

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til-ke-ladoo

Apart from expert flyers, city’s oldest kite expert Babu Khan also displayed his skills, flying 100 kites with one thread. The colourful festival concluded with a spectacular show of fireworks lighting up the sky.

firework

 

Kite Festival in Rajasthan

Every Year January14 is celebrated in India as Makar Sankranti – heralding the transition of the sun into the Northern hemisphere. It is also a big kite day in most parts of India when children and adults  from 6 to 60 can be seen with their heads turned to the sky. In Jaipur kites virtually blot out the sky. Everyone joins in this riotous celebration and shouts of ” Woh Kata !” reverberate from rooftops to the accompaniment of drums as adversaries’ kites are cut down. And everyone’s an adversary! Any kite in the sky is fair game.

The three-day festival starts with an inauguration at the Polo Ground, which is the venue for some serious kite flying and fighting for the three days of the festival. The festival includes two kinds of celebration. A massive extravaganza follows, with Air Force helicopters releasing kites from the sky, and hundreds of schoolchildren releasing balloons. Kites that look like wasps, exquisite stained glass windows, and graceful mythical birds soar in the sky and the sky shimmers with magic.

Fighting kites beautifully choreographed by the wind look like poetry in the skies, written by kite flyers from many nations. The three days of the festival are divided into two sections. One is the Fighter Kite Competition and the other is the more sober Display Flying and there are prestigious trophies to be won in both categories. Every evening participants are provided with dinner at any of the exotic locations.

On the final day the venue of the festival shifts to the exquisite lawns of the Umaid Bhawan Palace, the royal residence of the Maharaja of Jodhpur. The finals of the Fighter Kite Competition and the final judging of the Display Kites are followed by the prize distribution ceremony, the valedictory function, and a farewell dinner with the Maharaja. As the festival draws to an end, traditional Indian kite craftsmen prepare to return to their humdrum lives, selling handcrafted aerial art for mere pennies.

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