Kite festival is also known as Makar Sankranti in most parts of the country. It is one of the most auspicious day for Hindus and is celebrated with myriad cultural forms, with great devotion, fervor and gaiety. Thousands of people take a dip in holy river Ganga Sagar. Lord Sun is worshipped on this occasion. It is the day for which Bhishma Pitahmah kept waiting to leave his mortal coil.
On Makar Sankranti day the Sun begins its ascendancy and journey into the northern hemisphere, and thus it signifies an event wherein the Gods seem to remind their children that “Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya”, which means may you go higher and higher, too more and more light and never to darkness.
The story behind the celebration of this festival is that on this day Sun visits the house of his son Shani, who is the swami of Makar Rashi. These father and son do not ordinarily get along nicely, but in spite of any differences between each other Lord Sun makes it a point to meet each other on this day. Father in fact himself comes to his son’s house for a month. This day is symbolized the importance of special relationship of father and son. It is the son who has the responsibility to carry forward his father’s dream.
As we all know that Makar Sankranti is also known as kite flying festival in many parts of India. Gujarat and Jaipur in Rajasthan 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 Sanskrit language) is in Gujarat. Basant Panchmi is also popular for kite festival in some places in India. Kolkata celebrates kite festival on Vishwakarma Puja.
Kite is also called Patang in Hindi language. Hence the festival is also referred to as Patang Utsav in India. Patang is also called Guddi in many places in northern India. The special type of thread is used to fly kites and that is called Manjha.
Kite festivals have great effect on our health. Both Makar Sankranti and Basant Panchmi come in winter season. Sun rays are very good for health in winter season. The rays are very harmful in summers. Hence Indian people can take 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 sunbath. It strengthens arm muscles and is a good exercise for legs and eyes.
This festival brings joy to everybody’s lives. Kites with different sizes, colors and qualities are found in skyline. It looks very nice and pleasant when kites of various colors fly in the sky. It is really colorful. Even trees are found ornamented with kites fallen over these trees. These scenes fill the mind with joy and happiness.