Childhood memories of waking up at the crack of dawn filled with excitement of what the day held ahead come rushing back on the day of Makar Sankranti each year. The day is celebrated with great fervor in many states of India, marked with special sweets exchanged with friends and family, and above all flying kites. The tradition has been carried over by generations and Indians all over the world take part in the festivities on this special day. It is a good time for Indian parents living overseas to impart Indian culture for kids in a fun way. There are several Indian stories for kids that can get then acquainted with their roots.
In India, kite flying is synonymous with Makar Sankranti and terraces of homes are seen turning into social gatherings with people of all ages coming together to take part in what has now become a competitive event, where kite flyers try and cut the string of the others’ kite to prove their dominance. From dawn to the sky is seen dotted with kites of different colors and hues, sizes and shapes.
Makar Sankranti, known as Uttarayan in the state of Gujarat,marks the decline of winter and onset of summer. It is one of the grandest amongst the 2000 odd festivals celebrated here every year. Several homes turn into kite producing factories months before the festival. Since 1989, the city of Ahmadabad in the state of Gujarat has hosted the International Kite Festival as part of the official celebration of Uttarayan, bringing master kite makers and flyers from all over the world that wow the crowds with their unique creations of highly unusual kites.
Whatever part of the country one may be in on this day, it is hard to escape significance of the phenomenon that is kite flying.