Happy Makar Sankranti 2017: After months of a grueling and long winter, Makar Sankranti is a festival that all Indians look forward to. Celebrated on January 14, the festival marks the arrival of the spring. Traditionally, people share and eat sweets and laddoos made of sesame (til) and jaggery (gur) that helps in keeping our body warm during the still chilly weather. Another custom is kite flying, which is both fun and beneficial for health, as it allows us to stay in the sun – a plus point in the winter.
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Kite flying also has symbolic meaning in Indian culture. It is also said that the higher your kite goes, the higher you will rise in life. Adding to the fun factor is the kite flying competitions. This is all about cutting other people’s kite strings, while saving your own kite and making sure it soars high in the sky. Some segments of the population even believe that cutting a lot of kites during this time means you will witness growth in the coming year.
Of course, kite flying has gained a certain amount of notoriety. For birds and animal lovers, this festival is far from fun. The manja (kite thread that is dipped in ground glass) often injures birds, strangulating them or even slicing off their limbs. While it may not occur as much in cities, another fatality that take place during this time in small towns is that children, who are so engrossed in flying the kites, often fall off the roofs during this festival. However, greater awareness of these hazards is fast improving the condition of Makar Sankranti.
This day is incomplete without seeing the sky dotted with kites and people inhabiting every terrace in the neighbourhood. So will you go kite flying this year? Happy Makar Sankranti!