In essence, Makar Sankaranthi is a Hindu festival. Makar sankranthi is celebrated to mark the conclusion of the cold winter months with the shift of sun to the Northern hemisphere. This is the season of the year when skies get clear and the puff of air seems enjoyable thus making everyone remain in an ecstatic frame of mind. On the fortunate juncture of Makar Sankrati, taking a dip in the rivers of sacred places such as, Kashi, Haridwar and other religious places have an immense connotation. The delight of the season is celebrated by flying multicolored kites in the skies. Colorful Kites made of paper, leaves, shiny material and plastics wrap the sky on the day of maker sankranthi. All the members of families will congregate on the roof of their houses to take pleasure in the celebration. Women will sing the traditional songs on this day. People also cook special food items such as, til laddoos, Gajar Ka Halwa and dal pakodi on that day to share with their relatives & friends who visit each other to convey their wishes.
Connotation of Makar Sankranti Festival in Pink city:
The Makar Sankranti Festival is celebrated in Jaipur, the pink city of Rajashtan on January 14th. On this day, Sun will move from Sagittarius (Dhanu rashi) to Capricon (Makara rashi). This shift of Sun is well thought-out as a sacred period of transition. As stated by the Indian astrology, northward voyage or Uttarayan of Sun begins on Makar Sankranti.
Ceremonies and merriments associated with Makar Sankranti (Kite Festival) in Jaipur:
On the day of Makara sankranthi, Jaipurites will bathe in Galta (the holy pilgrimage in Jaipur) and worship the Sun God for good healthiness, prosperity and good harvest. Followed by the holy dip, people offer their ablution to Sun God and contribute materials and sweets made out of sesame seeds. Excluding the promising element of the Makar Sankranti Festival, all the Jaipurites coat the image of sky with some multihued kites. Even though many people will begin to fly their kites in Jaipur immediately after Diwali (Oct to Nov), Makar Sankranti is the major day when the state government announces public holidays in Jaipur. Several kite bouts are planned throughout the month of January by a choice of Kite Clubs. State government arranges the “International Kite Festival” in Jaipur for 3 days in which kite adorers take part from the entire globe. Both Jodhpur and Jaipur cities in Rajasthan are carrying out this Kite Festival on every occasion of Makar Sankranti with immense zeal. The key feature of the festival is the give people an idea about the ‘unity in diversity’ in all the point of views. That’s why, Kites of all sizes and shapes are made to fly in the sky.
Hence, dazzling and vivid kites in prominent shapes and remarkable designs will be speckled on the sun-drenched sky of Jodhpur and Jaipur on every January 14th. Usually, Jaipur hosts the International Kite Festival starting from January 14 to 16, 2014 at the famous Jal Mahal ground.
Makar Sankranthi dishes:
By tradition, Jaipurites will commemorate Makar Sankranti festival with an assortment of sweet dishes that are made out of sesame seeds, that is to say, sweets such as, Gajak (renowned Sesame Brittle of Jaipur), Til Ke Laddu & Feeni (popular Jaipur sweet prepared with “fibers” of white flour) will be prepared in all the houses of Rajasthan.