Gujarat’s favourite festival, but historians unsure of origins of kite flying
Come January 14 and entire Ahmedabad, and elsewhere in Gujarat, is on the terraces to fly kites. While precise details of how the festival became popular are still unknown, experts have their own findings of this extremely popular festival in the state.
Uttarayan, or Makarsankranti, means that flying kites will be the only activity for most of the Gujaratis. It also involves kite competitions and cherishing Úndhiyu’, Jalebi, chiki and fruits like sugarcane and Indian plums. Scientific relevance of ‘Makarsankranti’ is that sun rays fall perpendicular on ‘Tropic of Capricorn’ in the southern hemisphere, indicating the onset of hotter days in the northern hemisphere.
Noted author Madhav Ramanuj explained that Aryans came to from colder countries and settled in India. For them, northward journey of the sun would mean relief from biting cold. While Aryan Invasion Theory or Aryan Migration theory is now questioned, the explanation can also be attributed to traders or other invaders who came from Central Asia and settled in India. Joravarsinh Jadav, managing trustee of Gujarat Lokkala Foundation, says that evidence of kites have been found from the days of Indus Valley Civilisation. One of the synonyms of ‘the sun’ is ‘Patang’, meaning a kite. So, it is …read more