TORONTO, CANADA, January 24, 2015 (by Rakshande Italia, Scarborough Mirror): As North America dives into a deep freeze and temperatures reach minus degrees, its heartening to note thousands of miles away in India, people are celebrating the first festival of the year. Makar Sankranti is a four-day festival dedicated at paying homage to the elements of the sun, wind and thanking God for the abundance of natural resources that make it possible to live on earth.
Many Hindus in India take holy dips in Ganga. As kids growing up in the city of Mumbai the term Sankranti had absolutely different connotations. For us, it was almost four days of flying colorful big kites on our building terraces and eating Indian sweets specially made for this occasion. The kite flying, of course, is the most prominent part of these festivities. And while I really don’t know the story behind why people fly kites, it seemed these were the few days when the winds in the air were suitable for kite flying. So every Sankranti when the winds blow over populated and otherwise pollution ridden city of Mumbai, street vendors sell colorful kites.
The fun was not only flying the kites, but more importantly being able to take down competitor’s kite. In fact that’s what all the fun was about.