Every year January 14, is celebrated as Makar Sankranti all over India. It’s the celebration of the harvest season and hence every state celebrates it, in their own cultural & regional way. The festival is known by various names in different places. The festival starts the Uttarayana cycle of Sun (Northern movement or when the sun moves from the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn). In other words, Sankranti marks the termination of winter season and beginning of a new harvest or spring season.
This occasion is celebrated with kite flying in Northern India. Typically, the sky will be full of colorful kites and men and women of all ages will be on their terraces screaming & flying kites. I happen to witness the kite flying in Gujarat in 2010, where it gets so competitive; people are busy cutting each other’s kites in sky and dogging others. It’s an all day event with people prepared with hats, glares, gloves for the sharp kite string and a stock of 10’s of kites with them.
Colorful Kite strings:
Sky full of kites:
In Southern India, the celebration is different with making sweet of jaggery (brown sugar) & sesame seeds and distributing it amongst relatives and friends. In Maharashtra, we have a saying when we give the sweets – “Til Gul ghya, goad goad bola” – Have this sweet and talk sweetly!!