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Unfolding-what’s behind the celebration called Sankranti | Jaipur Beat

Did you know- Our body is capable of getting its Vitamin D reserves full with 3 full days of sunlight and the best quality of sunlight is the end of winter and beginning of summer.? See how wise our sages were of ancient India, who introduced the concept of flying kites in winter so that sunbathing wouldn’t add any kind of boredom!  How exciting it is that along with the joy of flying kites, kids get direct sunlight and stock a good dose of Vitamin D for the whole year. Now you know, why we’re so enthusiastic about celebrating the festival of Lohri and Sankranti?

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On a religious note, the day of Sankranti is celebrated to venerate the ‘Sun’ god and the best way to do that is to rise with the morning sun and visit the 16th Century Galta Ji & the Sun temple located on the outskirts of the old city.

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On this day, the devouts trek up the small hill to the temple exiting the City through Surajpol & Galtaji gate and pay homage to the deities in the temple downhill.

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On Makar Sankranti, it is considered especially auspicious to take a dip in the 7 holy Kunds / water tanks located in this stunning Complex. While you are there, you might as well do some Surya Namaskars & get your quota of Vitamin D and all the other health benefits from the blessed rays of the Sun. Maybe just for today, you can go a little easy on the Sun-Block 🙂

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Makar Sankranti is also celebrated as the harvest festival of the country. The Rabi crop is harvested in the month of January and corn, mustard, peanuts, sesame etc. are the major crops harvested at this time. One day before Sankranti, i.e. on Lohri the new crop is offered to God through worshipping fire.

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Lastly, how can we miss the most important thing about any festival in the city-Food? Makar Sankranti food is all about pakode, moongfali, popcorn, khichadi, gajak, feeni, ladoo and papdi-chat.  Everyone loves to savour these special delicacies and the Children in the house go up and down the terrace for serving them. The youngsters become DJs playing the best songs the loudest on their rooftop.

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Take in the spirit of this exciting festival, Jaipur’s style, this is special to hold on to in your memories forever.

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Lohri and Sankranti Jaipur’s way

Do you know what one of the best things about our country is? That no matter where the festival originates, it just belongs to and spreads its joy across almost the entire nation J On this note we wish you all a very happy Lohri !! This festival originated in the state of Punjab to celebrate the harvest of Rabi crops, and went on to become a way to celebrate the fertility and joy of life.

Lohri is celebrated and enjoyed with a lot of dhoom dhaam in our lovely pink city as well. This festival offers a beautiful sight of people, friends and family dressed in bright colored attires, singing and dancing to the drum beats along with bonfire. The Punjabis in Jaipur living in Raja Park and Malviya Nagar areas especially started preparing for Lohri celebrations few days back and are all set for the energetic bonfire tonight !!

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Apart from just dancing and doing the all time favorite Bhangra dance, everyone throws sweets, puffed rice, peanuts and popcorn into the flames signifying letting go of all the worries and grudges while singing popular folksongs and exchange greetings.  Last but not the least comes that thing which is the life of every festival; Food 😀 Since it’s Punjabi, it has to be the mouth-watering and delicious winter traditional dinner of makki-di-roti (millet bread) te sarson-da-saag (cooked mustard herbs) !! For dessert or meetha, sesame seed or Til is an inseparable part of the Lohri celebrations. Eating Til in any form like Til ke laddoo is considered be auspicious both for the festival and for the taste buds 😉

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Kai Po Che !! 

The celebrations don’t end here!! As the fire of Lohri fades away, it gives way to another festival that is enjoyed with crazy fervor in Jaipur; Makar Sankranti, celebrated on 14th Jan every year. By the way did you guys know the meaning of Makar Sankranti? Makar means the zodiac sign Capricorn and Sankranti means transition of Sun from the Sagittarius zodiac sign to Capricorn, interesting right??

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While all the men gang up at the roof tops and start flying their kites as soon as the sun rises, most of the women are passionately cooking the delicious dishes for the day. Friends come together for the day and even strangers meet at the flying get-togethers and are seen having the time of their lives.

And just for your information, kite flying is not just a festival in Jaipur, it’s a war 😉

Once the competition sets in, hardly anyone is a stranger, and the fun and excitement is unbeatable! Kites are flied across the city, at terraces, community parks, pre-decided venues like the Chaughan stadium, Ram Niwas Garden, etc.

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Jaipur Tourism Development Corporation organises the International Kite Festival at a local stadium every year, where kite enthusiasts from all across the world show off their skills. A kite market is held, alongside which are food stalls, cultural performances and special kite displays at night, when illuminated kites – known as Tukals – are flown (14th January – 16 January 2014).

As and when the kites are being flown, comes an arena of amazing food i.e. dal ke pakode, peanut chikkis, jaggery (gur) and what not !!

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The entire pink city looks like its bathing in a riot of colors in the form of different kind of kites that brighten up the sky and the sound of ‘Woh kaata’ is musical to the ears and talks about what the lively pink city is all about !!