Makar Sankranti (Utran), the Kite festival in India

Kite festival in Jaipur

Flying kites in the dusk
Flying kites in the dusk
Kites of various colors
Kites of various colors
Child in Jaipur trying to fly kite
Child in Jaipur trying to fly kite
House wife flying kite
House wife flying kite

Festival of India: Makar Sankranti


Makar Sankranti is a festival of India that comes on January 14 every year. The Sun goes to uttarayan (popularly spoken as utran) from this day according to Indian astrology. Sankranti is spelled and pronounced as Sankranthi in South India. Hence it is called Makar Sankranthi in South India. The Hubpages also spells it as Makar Sankranthi (See categories).

Makar is a Rashi (Zodiac) and Sankranti means transition. Hence, Makar Sankranti means the transition of the Sun from the zodiac Makar. People goes to Ganga Sagar near Kolkata, West Bengal, to take a bath on Makar Sankranti. Kumbh Mela also starts on the day of makar Sankranti and people go for a bath in holy Ganga or in Triveni. A Large number of people are expected to assemble in Haridwar this year for Kumbh Snan on January 14, 2010, the day of Makar Sankranti. Kumbh Mela will start from Makar Sankranti at Haridwar.

Makar Sankranti is also a kite flying festival or kite festival in many parts of India. Gujrat and Jaipur inRajasthan is famous for their kite festivals. Jaipur organizes international kite festival every year. Makar Sankranti is a popular word in Rajasthan whereas Utran (derived from Uttarayan in the Sanskrit language) is in Gujrat. Basant Panchami is also popular for kite festival in some places of India. Kolkata celebrates kite festival on Vishwakarma Puja but not on Makar Sankranti.

Kite is called Patang in the Hindi language. Hence the festival is also referred as Patang Utsav in India. Patang is also called Guddi in many places in northern India. A special type of thread is used to fly kites and that is called Manjha.

Makar Sankranti, Jaipur

Kite festivals and health


Indian festivals are related to health and wealth. The kite festival is not an exception. Both Makar Sankranti (Uttarayan)and Basant Panchami comes in the winter season. Makar Sankranti (Utran) comes on a fixed date of January according to the solar calendar but Basant Panchami is observed according to the lunar calendar. It usually comes in the month of January or February.

Sun rays are very good for health in the winter season. India is a hot weather country and winter is not very long here. Sun rays are harmful in the summer. Hence, Indian people can take a sun bath in winter only. Kite flying is a good way to get direct sun rays.

Kite festivals encourage people to go to the rooftops or to the open grounds to take a sun bath. people involved in kite festival keep their back to the sun. This saves their eyes and face from direct sun rays. All of us know that direct contact of sun rays to our eyes are harmful and dangerous.

kite flying in Patang Utsav also strengthens arm muscles. It is also a good exercise for legs and eyes. People keep their eyes on the flying kite (Patang) continually. It enhances their vision and strengthens their eyes. All these have a positive effect on health.

One can see the crowd on the rooftops of Jaipur and Ahmadabad during Makar Sankranti and Utran kite festivals.

Patang Utsav, Jaipur

Charkhi or Latai, a wheel to bind threads
Charkhi or Latai, a wheel to bind threads
Tree ornamented with colorful kites (Patang)
Tree ornamented with colorful kites (Patang)
Kite festival, Roof top
Kite festival, Roof top
Kite festival, Roof top
Kite festival, Roof top
Kite festival, Roof top
Kite festival, Roof top

Psychology behind the kite festival


The kite festival is not only an entertainment. There are psychological reasons behind the festival. People have to keep their eyes on flying kites (Patang or Guddi). They have to keep their eyes up! This affects them psychologically.

Keeping eyes up boosts confidence. It is a natural remedy for nervousness and depression. It motivates people to think high. The confidence of a kite flier skyrockets as kite moves up in the sky. It also enhances the concentration of the kite flier.

People also let their kites fight with each other. this is called "Pench ladana". It is a friendly battle. One needs a higher level of skill to cut others Patang. Manjha ( Special kind of thread) plays a great role in cutting others Patang (Kite).

The kite that is cut, flies randomly with the wind before reaching the earth. People keep constant eyes on those kites and try to get those. Again this boosts their abilities to grab the opportunities.

Do you think that this kite festival can bring people out from the depression of economic crisis, recession, and global slow down? Is it like a natural bail out plan? Will it help people coming out of the global crisis by preparing them mentally?

Kites have different sizes, colors, and qualities. It looks very nice and pleasant when kites of various colors fly in the sky. It is really colorful. Even trees are looked ornamented with kites fallen over these trees. These scenes fill the mind with joy and happiness.

Pongal- Makar Sankranti festival

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Comments 15 comments

tin smith 4 years ago

i like this festival aloot..............


meenaboyz 4 years ago

kites festival jaipur ka sabse bada tyohar hai. main or meri family iss tyohar ko bahut like karte hai


Ebey Soman profile image

Ebey Soman 5 years ago from USA

Kite festival rocks and it is great to see another Indian on Hubpages!


karan rajput 5 years ago

hi you are welocome jaipur


saurabh 6 years ago

well in lucknow it is a year round activity . i like it very much and i am also a skilled fighter.


Stunt Kites 6 years ago

This is great information about kite flying. I wasn't aware of this festival. While I'm more interested in stunt kites, learning more and more about how others use their kites is fun to know. Thanks for your hub.


JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

JYOTI KOTHARI 6 years ago from Jaipur Author

Hi greg,

Thanks for visiting and commenting on this hub. You are welcome in Jaipur.

Thanks,

Jyoti Kothari


JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

JYOTI KOTHARI 6 years ago from Jaipur Author

Hi greg,

Thanks for visiting and commenting on this hub. You are welcome in Jaipur.

Thanks,

Jyoti Kothari


greg austin profile image

greg austin 6 years ago from Canada

Wonderful hub. I really enjoyed reading about the kite festival. I have spent some time in Jaipur but never in January. Keep up the excellent writing.


Darshan 6 years ago

Hi,

Jaipur celebrates Makar Sankranti the bast way in India. People are in the top of the roofs and roads are vacant in Jaipur. The scene is marvelous.


JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

JYOTI KOTHARI 6 years ago from Jaipur Author

Hi HP,

Kolkata enjoys Kite festival on Vishwakarma Puja.

@ Andromida, Yes, kite festival is celebrated at many places in our sub-continent including Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Thanks for posting comment.

Jyoti Kothari


andromida profile image

andromida 6 years ago

This is a great festival.In fact kite festival is celebrated in many places of our sub-continent.nice photos.


H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 6 years ago from Guwahati, India

Makar Sankranti as well as Kite festival is equally an enjoyable festival in Calcutta like Jaipur. Thanks for sharing.


JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

JYOTI KOTHARI 6 years ago from Jaipur Author

Hi Suziecat,

It is not only family fun but a fun with the entire society. Jaipur enjoys Makar Sankranti kite festival with every one and any one.

Thanks,

Jyoti Kothari


suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 6 years ago from Asheville, NC

Looks like good family fun. Nice Hub.

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