Makar Sankranti is celebrated all over India but it has a special place in Jaipur’s festival calendar. Makar Sankranti is one of the biggest festivals in Jaipur. Let’s talk about the Kite Festival of Jaipur.
Makar Sankranti – Kite Festival of Jaipur
When Sun transits into Makara or Capricorn from Cancer or Dhanu Rashi the festival of Makar Sankranti is celebrated. Sun is the life source for all living beings and Hindus worship Sun God.
Most of the Hindu festivals are celebrated according to the lunar calendar but Makar Sankranti is a festival which is celebrated according to the movement of the sun. And that is why Makar Sankranti is celebrated on 14th January every year.
So, this answers your question – when is Makar Sankranti in 2019 and why is Makar Sankranti celebrated on 14 January?
Makar Sankranti has significance for Indians as it celebrates another winter crop season. The event of transition of Sun into Makara Rashi is celebrated all over India with different names.
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In Assam it is named Magh Bihu, in Tamil Nadu, it is called Pongal. While in Rajasthan and the Madhya Pradesh State of India it is celebrated and named Makara Sankranti.
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Kite Festival Jaipur 2019
The religious significance of Makar Sankranti in Jaipur: people of Jaipur are religious and they celebrate every festival with equal faith. Makar Sankranti brings in another of the opportunity to worship and thank god for the blessings.
Devotees go to take a dip in aural water springs of Galta Ji temple which is around 10 km away from Jaipur city.
It is said that it washes away your bad deeds and purifies the soul. After the daily rituals, people offer grass to cows which are considered a holy animal in Indian culture.
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If devotees could not go to Galta Temple they go to any nearby temple to seek blessings and prayers. Donating to Makar Sankranti has a significance of Karma. It is said that the circle of life brings us what we give to others.
On Makar Sankranti, people donate sesame seeds & jaggery sweets, clothes to needy and poor. Married women in Jaipur practice a ritual in which they gift household objects to 13 other married women. It is a custom in Jaipur to invite daughters and sisters for festive meals.
Makar Sankranti Celebration in Jaipur
Makar Sankranti is a synonym to Kite flying in Jaipur. Though kite flying is practised threw out the year, the annual event is on 14th January every year. As soon as Diwali celebrations are over colourful kites take over the city sky.
It is said that King of Jaipur from 1835 to 1880, Sawai Ram Singh ll brought the art or sport of kite flying to Jaipur from Lucknow.
He used to fly kites decorated with gold & silver from City Palace of Jaipur. Anyone who would bring him back his kite was rewarded well.
Since then kite flying became popular with general public and trend of flying kites on Makar Sankranti came into existence.
And now it is not just any recreational activity. Flying fighter kites and cutting other’s thread with glass sharpened kite thread is a war for Jaipur City people.
Kite Festival Jaipur – Rituals and Celebrations
People wake up even before the first sun rays reach earth ignoring the cold weather and are up on roofs until night darkness takes over. Preparations for the daylong event of Makar Sankranti start way before a month.
- More than 20000 thousand people are directly or indirectly involved in manufacturing or trading of harp threads and kites.
- And then there are sweet shops that cater to special delicacies. In recent years the festive spirit of Jaipur has taken new dimensions into the sky from the rooftops.
- Until some years ago Makar Sankranti was an annual festival of flying kites and family celebrations.
- After a day of flying kites and celebrations with festivities, people use to burst firecrackers which were left unused on Diwali.
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Slowly it became a local tradition and some claim that the quality of firecracker show from the rooftops is way beautiful on Makar Sankranti than Diwali. As the sun sets firecrackers to begin to brighten the city skies.
And thousands of flying lanterns create a pattern that is mesmerising for everyone. The whole firecracker and flying lanterns show attract young and old on the rooftops no matter how cold it is.
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Makar Sankranti Food Recipes
Traditional sweets prepared for Makar Sankranti in Jaipur are
- Til Ke Laddu,
- Gajak, and
In winters body need extra calories and nutrition for healthy functioning. Til or sesame seeds are a rich source of iron, copper, magnesium & calcium.
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Jaggery or Gud is Indian sugar made from sugarcane without using any harmful chemicals and is a rich source of energy. Mixed together using ghee they (sesame seeds & jaggery) form mouth-watering sweet balls.
Gajak is also a form of sweet made of jaggery or sugar and sesame seeds. Pakodi is made from crushed pulses mixed with spices, these are fried and served hot with chutney.
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These all are a delicious and rich source of energy for a daylong event of kite flying in Jaipur.
Various marketing agencies, political parties and local administration have adopted kites as a marketing tool for their respective agendas.
They get their ideas printed on kites and these kites serve as pamphlets and reach distant places with the message. One such successful campaign was for raising awareness for Polio Eradication.
Where you celebrate Kite Festival in Jaipur? Do you celebrate Makar Sankranti in a special way? Other than forwarding messages on WhatsApp, what’s your traditional way to greet Makar Sankranti to friends? Let us know all this in comments.