The Festival of Kites : Makar Sankranti 2018
The aura is full of happiness, the breeze is full of colours, people are laden with colourful clothes and the boxes are full of laddoos. Kids are thronging to fly kites, neighbours are rushing to cut others kites, with fun all the way. Evenings are blessed with bonfires and families are dancing around and serving Til (sesame seeds) preparations. Aren’t these spirits so joyous? That’s the elation which Makar Sankranti, commonly called as Kite festival offers.
Makar Sankranti, an Indian festival full of fun and frolic is right on 14th January. The name is derived with the significance that on this day, Sun moves into the house of Capricorn Zodiac. Hence the name – Makar, derived from Capricorn and Sankranti means the movement of earth from one zodiac to the another. It marks the beginning of spring and the tail end of the winters. This is rather the beginning of the harvest season for the farmers and is celebrated with a great pomp and show. Though, Makar Sankranti is more famous in northern and western parts of India, the same day is celebrated in Punjab as Lohri and in South India as Pongal and the festivities varies across the regions.
Start of International Kite Festival in Ahmedabad (Occasion of Makar Sankranti/Uttarayana) :
With winter vacations On, you can take your kids to “International Kite festival” which gets organized every year in Ahmedabad with great fanfare. Participants travel from different parts of the world with some of the amazing kites to have fun. Have a look at the video here:
Story and Significance of Makar Sankranti :
There are many stories behind this joyous festival, but the one holding the spirit of celebrations is that on this day Lord Vishnu ended the long old war between the Devas (Good spirits) and Asura’s (Evil spirits). Hence it is a start of a beautiful and righteous living for the mankind.
- This festival respects and celebrates Mother Nature.
- It asks us to pledge to get rid of various demons inside us and live a life full of joy and harmony.
- Makar Sankranti seeks us to be polite and have voice and thoughts as sweet as Jaggery.
- It creates a sense of joyous beginning of the year.
10 best activities around Makar Sankranti with Kids:
Why not unleash the full festive spirit and engage kids creatively here? Here are some ideas to include in Makar Sankranti celebrations with Kids.
1. Fairs :
Hurrah! This is the time when most of the cities are laden with numerous fair and mela’s for kids. Though in routine you might not be attending the same, let kids have that fun and frolic experience at the city fairs. It can be a great family bonding as well.
2. Design your own Kites:
Yes, this is a grand Kite Flying day, why to miss the pro fun? Engage you child in designing kites with their favourite characters, so that Kite Flying can be more of a fun for children. Making own kite is simple and doesn’t takes more than 20-25 minutes. Isn’t that fun mama’s? Let the creativity soar high in the sky.
3. Host Kite Flying Competition :
This is one of the competition, we always looked forward to as a child. I’m planning to re-create the magic this year, as flying kites is loved by all kids and adults equally. Also, this is time with good sunshine in winters and we can have enough of Vitamin D. Competition, also makes kids socialise and find new friends amongst their neighbours. While kids are having fun, adults can really enjoy “vo katta” experience by cutting the neighbours kite. I fondly have many “vo katta” stories, since my dad was an amazing Kite flyer.
- Do keep kids hydrated.
- Make sure you organize Kite flying competition at a safe place.
- You can also apply good SPF cream for direct protection from sunlight.
4. Plan Picnic :
If you do not plan for Kite Flying competition, why not have a family fun by planning picnic in the outdoors? Call on some good friends and make the picnic a blast for kids and family. Take along some traditional lavish delicacies as Til laddoo’s (sesame- jaggery balls), Revari, Sarson-da-saag & makki-di-Roti for a traditional festive feel.
5. Engage your kids in making Til Laddoo’s (Sesame seed – Jaggery balls):
This one of of the healthiest sweet to be cherished in winters. Allow kids to roll on the balls for their part of fun and have some bites in between. Personally, my son is super excited to make these balls and share them with his friends as a token of love. Distribution of these balls to friends and family is a beautiful tradition, promoting the sweetness in relations.
6. Gratitude to farm animals :
Makar Sankranti is a day when cattle’s are treated as Gods, for it is because of them, that we get so many healthy things in life. You’ll find that cattle’s are decorated with flowers, bells, colourful bright paints. They are fed special meals and thanked for their presence in our lives. Kids can actually go to some villages and have real fun with cattle’s. Its a good time for kids to learn the importance of cattle’s, animals, birds on this earth and pay their gratitudes.
7. Rangoli :
Oh that’s a pure fun for kids! I remember, my kid making his own colourful rangoli on the floor of our house on Diwali. Then he was just 3 years and he was making his A,B,C,D with red, yellow and blue colours. Now that he has a much better drawing, he is eagerly waiting to draw beautiful organic coloured Rangoli. You can also try Floral rangoli.
8. Bonfire on Sankranti evening :
This was a family tradition for us. Basically the idea is more so close to Lohri celebration in Punjab (on 13th Jan). Have a bonfire setup and let all friends, family gather around in new clothes, dance to the tunes of some folk songs, exchange the sweets, and have an amusing eve. What better than to have Bonfire party in the chilly night?
9. Let kids know the significance of Makar Sankranti :
Kids should not just know this festival as a Kite flying day or a day to savour on Til laddoos. They should actually know the essence of this festival, why is it important to farmers, why cattle’s are important to us, why do we need to have a heart full of gratitude and so on. It is a time to teach and imbibe some good habits in lives.
10. Go shopping :
It’s a colourful festival, chose some bright festive clothes and let kids decide their outfits. They’ll be really excited for it, I’m sure. But, try not to shop more that what is actually needed. After all, we need to save our mother nature, which is the spirit of this festival.
Some facts on Makar Sankranti for kids :
- Also known as the festival of Kites.
- International Kite Festival has already begun in Ahmedabad, (7Jan – 14th Jan).
- It is the only festival that falls on 14th January, every year.
- this festival the onset of the very famous, Kumbh Mela (held every 12years)of Uttar Pradesh.
- Makar Sankranti falls on Equinox, i.e, the day and night are believed to be equally long.
- It marks the end of ill -omened month of Poush
Are you ready for Makar Sankranti/Uttarayana? Share me your ideas as to how are you planning to make it special? Are any of you planning to participate in International Kite festival 2018?
Cheers to the festivities!