Along with new beginnings and the exciting potential of a new year, January also brings the harvesting season for the rabi crop in India. The event is marked by Makar Sankranti, celebrated on 14 January, which also marks the end of the winter solstice and heralds longer days under the warmth of the spring sun. As the festival takes shape in different ways in different corners of the country, in Gujarat, thousands of kites can be seen dotting the skies in its celebration. But why?
The tradition of flying kites during Makar Sankranti is followed all over the country and lately has spread in many parts of the world. But this festival not only brings fun but also several health benefits. Flying kites gives us a healthy exposure to the sun from the early morning and the early sun rays are known to be a rich source of Vitamin D. Since winter brings a lot of sicknesses, the sun rays are known to wipe them all.
The state of Gujarat hosts International Kite Flying Festival every year, which was initiated in 1989, draws maximum attraction from the rest of the world. About 150 delegates from 44 countries, including the UK, South Korea, New Zealand, China, Indonesia, and Malaysia, arrive here to be a part of this event. Several kite enthusiasts from all over India as well as from Ahmedabad itself flock here in numbers to display their unique collection of kites. This is the reason why the state of Gujarat is largely associated with the kite flying festival.
Tilgul Ladoos are sweetmeats made of sesame seeds and jaggery. It is typically derived from a Maharashtrian culture that is followed by saying, “Tilgul ghya ani goad goad bola” which translates to ‘eat these sesame seeds and jaggery and speak sweet words. The distribution of sweets signifies bonding and forgetting the ill past and simply spreading sweetness. The scientific importance of these sweets is that sesame seeds help in keeping the body warm and provide a good amount of oil that is essential.