Cultural festivals · Fairs & Festivals · Festive Season · Food · Food Festival · Jaipur · Jaipur Food · Jaipur Lifestyle · Makar Sankranti

Why Makar Sankranti In Jaipur Is Absolutely Not-To-Be-Missed

Hundreds of kites dancing in the sky, and us- on our terrace. That’s the memory every Jaipurite has of Makar Sankranti. Kite-flying is one of the most favourite and zealous festivals in Jaipur. It’s not just about flying kites but also about the battleground that the sky becomes and the way the whole group of family and friends gather up on their terraces and hoot and shout along with the music.

But this is not all! There’s so much more to this festival and the day marks as one of the most auspicious occasions of the year. Here are some of the reasons Jaipurites put their heart and soul into celebrating Makar Sankranti.

1. Pavitra Snaan and Daan
While lakhs of people take dips into the Ganges on Makar Sankranti around the nation, scores of people also arrive at Galta Ji Temple in Jaipur to bathe in the seven holy kunds there. The day is celebrated to worship the Sun God. It is considered that taking dips in the kund at Galtaji on Makar Sankranti absolves us of all our sins.

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To take a dip in the kund at Galta Ji Temple, you might as well trek up the small hill that exits the city from Galta and Surajpole gates. It’s a sight to behold when you see the amount of faith that Jaipurites put into worshipping on Makar Sankranti.

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People around the country also believe that donating clothes, jaggery, corn, ground peanuts and sesame is a good omen and brings prosperity.

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2. Harbinger of spring
Makar Sankranti falls on the equinox and the day and night are equally long. After this day, the days start to get longer and nights shorter. It also marks the onset of spring season. This also brings a welcome relief from the cold wave of the bygone winter.

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3. The Harvest Festival
Makar Sankranti is celebrated every year 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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4. Kite Buying
Kite buying is a serious affair in Jaipur. People don’t just by any random kites. They especially head to kite markets like Handipura, Haldiyon Ka Rasta, and Kishanpole bazaar to buy the best kites. It takes an understanding of the science behind the designing of kites in order to buy the best ones. You can find hundreds and thousands of kites in all shapes, sizes and designs according to your preference. Some of the popularly known designs of kites are Chaand-dara, Glass-dara, Mangal-dara, Aankhal-dara, Tripatta, Dadhiyal etc.

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5. Kite- Flying

A true jaipurite knows how to fly a kite and the science applied behind it.

It takes a lot of patience, time and effort to prepare for kite flying. The night before Sankranti the whole family sits together to put ‘tang’ in kites with white saddha.

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On Sankranti, everyone’s duty is sorted! Makar Sankranti food is all about pakode, moongfali, popcorn, khichadi, gajak, feeni, ladoo and papdi-chat 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.

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And oh! What an art kite flying is. As soon as the ‘Dangal’ starts in the sky, you can hear “Woh kaata” every five seconds from a terrace or two around!

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  1. The evening sky

As the day sets in, the kites start to come down and gradually the whole sky is lit up with fireworks and paper lanterns known as “Tukkals” or “Kandeel.” The night view on Sankranti is absolutely mesmerizing and one of those experience that is hard to get over!

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So if ever you plan to visit Jaipur during winter, make sure you don’t miss the intoxicatingly enthusiastic vibe of Makar Sankranti!

Fairs & Festivals · Food · Jaipur · Jaipur Beat · Jaipur Happenings · Makar Sankranti

8 Things You Need To Know About Jaipur’s Most Loved Festival- Makar Sankranti

Jaipur is known to celebrate each and every festival with unconditional zest but the one closest to our hearts is Makar Sankranti. The kite flying festival is undoubtedly the city’s favourite. Only a true Jaipurite knows the charm of the festival. It’s not just flying a bunch of kites covering the sky on the 14th of the month but something way more than that. Thousands of bedazzling kites colour the sky, the sound of ‘Woh kaaate’ and music fills the air and the aroma of food fills the heart with joy.

Let’s take a look at the festival from the eyes of a true patangbaaz.

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1. Getting the kites

Jaipurites don’t just buy any kite they come across, it’s only after a lot of thought and calculation that they buy the kites that match with their personality. The task isn’t easy. You have to check the weight, assume the wind speed on that day keeping in mind the current weather, the number of people flying it with you and in the end come the color and cost of the kite. Handipura, Kishanpol Bazar and Haldiyon Ka Rasta are the hub of these handcrafted flying beauties in the city at this time of the season. People buy around a hundred kites a few days before and it’s only common to spot people holding kites with more care than while holding a baby.

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2. Prepping for flying

What happens the night before is extremely important. There’s an evening dedicated to prepare the kite for flying by putting ‘tang’ on it. All sharp, pointy objects and agarbattis come into play to punch four perfectly round holes into the kite.  These are then tied precisely with a ‘Sadda’. Detonating a bomb is easier than tying proper tang. Too small, and the kite becomes heavy, too big and the kite goes out of control. Only a very few know the science behind it.

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3. Manjha-Sadda

Manjha is for the ones who have courage enough to become a part of the battle and sadda is for beginners. Every child remembers being handed over sadda and the immeasurable longing to fly kites with manjha. People fill their charkhis with the best and most trenchant of manjhas even if it leaves the user with deep cuts on their fingers. Then of course there are endless ways to cover these wounds till the doctor’s tape is pierced again.

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4. The battlefield

The picture of the festival is no different from that of war. There’s everyone involved, there’s blood and screaming, there’s chaos, aggression and betrayal and of course, there are weapons of war.

You can ring the bells of their homes all you want but there’ll come no response as Jaipurites remain on their terrace on the 14th. Even the ones who have trouble climbing, gather all the courage to battle the flight of stairs. Everyone sets up their music system one day before and play it at a volume slightly higher than that of their neighbour.

Kite flying is a constant affair, you have to keep it flying, check for nearby challengers and bring them down, soar it as far as it can go, scream your head off until your opponent feels humiliated, catch the kite that has just lost the battle and so many other tasks at a time.

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5. Roles of all ages

While the older ones sit back and comment on the technique to win the fight, younger ones, sadly, are given with the responsibility of holding charkhis, rolling the manjha back into the charkhis, bringing water bottles from downstairs and the like. It is the population lying between these two that participates actively in the ‘dangal’.

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6. Jargons of the festival

There are certain terms used while kite flying that only a Jaipurite is familiar with. Here’s for you a few to familiarize yourself with the vocab.

Vo kaataa, tang dalna, pench ladana, dheel dena, lapetna , thudda/kaakh modna, dangal ladana, patang lootna, jujja daalna and anti banana.

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7. Festive Food

Daal Ke Pakore,, Daal-Baati-Churma, Bajre Ka Khichra, Sooji Ka Sheera, Paushbara,  are some of the few must have of the festival. The day is incomplete without sweets like pheeni, gajak, rewari and til ke ladoo.

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8. Lanterns and Firework

The city flies kites till it becomes barely visible in the night sky. To keep the festivity going, kites are replaced by paper lanterns that cover the sky beautifully like shooting starts. Fireworks mark the end of the festival and leave Jaipur with new hopes for the next Sakranti.

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This is how we, in Jaipur, celebrate our favourite festival. Do join us this Makar Sakranti and add to the little colourful dots that light up our sky.

Blog credits: Siddhi Modi, and intern at Jaipur Beat.

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7 Events In And Around Jaipur That Will Rock Your New Year

“Today is the first blank page of a 365 page book , let us write it well !”

New year brings brand new opportunities and opens new doors for a fresh start. New day brings more cheer and happiness along with a lot of fun new events to attend in the city of Jaipur. All the events are ready you just need to grab your bags and make the new year hip and happening ! 🙂

  • Lifestyle Exhibitions   

Brand new fashion with fresh collection is awaiting your arrival ! This year brings tremendous in-vogue fashion that can give you a complete makeover. Jhalak Exhibition brings the trendiest fashion apparel right from traditional to western and accessories to go along with. One of the most prestigious wedding shopping experience is going to be offered by Shimmer Wedding and Gift Expo. For all your home needs under one roof, Dahleez Exhibition is coming to Pink City. Girls out there this is a perfect chance to get the trendiest in town !

 

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  •   Rang Rajasthan

Get the perfect look and feel of the Rajasthani art and culture at Rang Rajasthan where Rajasthani plays, celebrity talk shows and folk performances in collaboration with national and international acclaimed directors and mentors will be given a platform to showcase their talent. Experience it in this seven day festival.

Date: 6th-12th January

Venue: JKK

Time: 5 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

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  • TOSS Photography Project

For all the photographers and potential photographers, here is an opportunity for you to learn the technicals of photography along with the creative aspects of it from the first-hand experience of Preeth Singh, the Nat-Geo photographer. Just grab your cameras and get going !

Date: 9th-19th January

Venue: The Open Space Society, Adarsh Nagar

Time: 6 p.m.- 8 p.m.

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  • International Kite Festival

International kite festival celebrated as Makar Sankranti in Jaipur is the most colourful festival of the year where kites are flown high and the sky gets filled with mesmerizing sights. Sweets like gajak, til ke laddu and feeni are usually eaten on this auspicious day.

Date: 14th January

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  • Ranthambore Festival

Dwell under the stars where soulful folk and music performances, naked-eye astronomy, forest experiences and breath-taking wildlife stories are awaiting your presence. Book your tickets now.

Date: 19th-21st January

Venue: Nahargarh Palace, Ranthambore

Time: 6 a.m. onwards

  • Rajasthan International Film Festival

Selection of best feature films, documentaries and short films from all around the globe along with gala events, seminar and workshops will be showcased in this four day extravaganza. All the movie buffs, mark your calendars now !

Date: 20th-23rd January

Venue: Inox Crystal Palm

Time: 3 p.m. onwards

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  • Jaipur Literature Festival

The Greatest Literary Show on Earth is back with a bigger and grander level this season. Celebrated speakers and writers from all over the world will be gracing the event with their esteemed presence. Jaipur Literature Festival is for one and all, don’t miss it !

Date: 25th-29th January

Venue: Diggi Palace

Time: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

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Here is wishing you a very Happy New Year ! 🙂

Fairs & Festivals · Food · Jaipur · Makar Sankranti

7 Ways to Celebrate Makar Sankranti Jaipur-style.

How is Makar Sankranti different here in Jaipur than the rest of the country? We have put together a small list of unusual experiences that you can get only in Jaipur on 14th/15th of January. Travel to Jaipur or if already in Jaipur, live out the day completely and enjoy Sankranti Jaipur-style.

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1. Galtaji temple & Sun Temple: The day 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. If not early morning, go anytime of the day on Makar Sankranti. Be adventurous and trek up the small hill to the temple exiting the City through Surajpol & Galtaji gate. On reaching the hill, descend down into the valley where the temple is actually located. 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 Sub-Block. 😀

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2. Kite Bazaars of Jaipur:- Home of the handcrafted -Visit the Kishanpol Bazar and Haldiyon Ka Rasta as they come alive decked up in colorful Kites of all shapes and sizes ready for Makar Sankranti. To be truly called a ‘Patangbaaz’ in Jaipur, you have to have visited the ‘Handipura’ bazar near sitting between the Badi Chaupar and Ramganj Chaupar of the Parkota/walled city of Jaipur. Laden with thousands of kites of all shapes, sizes and colors this market which remains quiet otherwise, peaks up just before Sankranti. The kite lovers carrying their exploits in bundles of 50s & 100s on top of their heads to last an entire day of Kite fights is a sight to behold. As you hear the fading notes of the Azaan at Handipura, intermingled with the excited chatter of seasoned yet passionate negotiations between the smiling shopkeeper & the Patangbaaz, the glowing yellow bulbs suddenly start coming alive in the shops all around. You can be sure that the same passion will be spilled across the colorful dotted sky on Makar Sankranti and every kite will rise high and zealously fight to remain the last kite flying. It’s an incredibly infectious energy to carry with you.

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3. Kite festivals: Two amazing venues to enjoy the Kite festival at two incredibly picturesque locations in the city. One is the 3-day kite festival on the terrace of City Palace starting 12th January and the other is on the Jal Mahal Promenade on the 14th of January between 11-2 pm. Do not miss this opportunity to see the kites fight it out in these incredible locations.

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4. Hot air Balloon Ride: Rise up in the Sky with the sun or come during sundown. Get a bird’s eye view of the city and the colorful dotted skies of Jaipur by taking a hot air balloon ride. It takes one up for an hour and needless to say, that is all the sun & view you need. As the sun descends the skies are filled with lit and glowing paper lantern kites or ‘Tukkals’, a stunning sight to behold & an experience beyond comparison. Be sure to grab the best sky seats in the house, today.

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5. Nahar Garh: City’s favorite haunt, some of the best pictures of the city are taken from this vantage point. Perched high atop a hill forming a picturesque background to the Jal Mahal, one gets a beautiful view of the whole city from here.Whether it’s the kites or the lights of the city, there isn’t a better spot on land to see the colors of festivities from.

6. Laxmi Narayan Temple: The gods are celebrating the day too.The famous Laxminarayan temple at Badi Chaupar in the Parkota is celebrating a 3 day Kite Festival starting 12th Jan. Decorated & bedecked with a multitude of kites all around, the idols of lord Laxminarayan and goddess Laxmi will be seen holding a Gold Kite and a Silver Charkhi.

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7. Your friend’s Terrace: Beg, borrow, plead and get an invite to a local’s or a friend’s all day terrace Kite flying party. Stocked with umpteen kites, Maanjhas, Food, and Music, the entire family comes together on this day to picnic out in the open and spend the day taking in the sun & fighting the super competitive ‘Kite Wars’. The delicious feast includes Daal Ke Pakore, Til Ke Ladoo, Daal- Baati-Churma, Bajre Ka Khichra, Sooji Ka Sheera, Paushbara, Pheeni, Gajak and Rewari to name a few. With chairs, Chataais, friends, family and laughter all around, it is one fun-filled & much-awaited festival.

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

Cultural festivals · Events in Jaipur · Fairs & Festivals · Jaipur · Makar Sankranti

Soak up a riot of colors in Jaipur’s 5 Kite Bazaars

Come January, the already colorful bazaars of Jaipur take on many added hues in preparation for Makar Sankranti. Both nature & Bazaars get ready to celebrate the ‘Sun God’.

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To be taken seriously in the Kite flying community and be truly called a ‘Patangbaaz’ in Jaipur, you have to have navigated, negotiated, bought kites and known these intricate mazes of the best Kite Bazaars as the back of your hand. If you are new to the city, to Sankranti or to the sport, you should definitely explore these bazaars, its fascinating wares &‘Kaarigars’. It’s a sure shot way of getting infected by this happy, peppy and festive energy surrounding this beautiful city. Here is a look at the 5 Kite Markets of Jaipur.

1. Handipura Bazaar: ‘Haandipura’ bazaar sits in between the Badi Chaupar and Ramganj Chaupar of the walled city of Jaipur. Laden with thousands of kites, this market which remains quiet otherwise sees skilled kite makers from not only Jaipur but also cities like Moradabad, Aligarh, Bareilly and Agra throng the market with their wares. This is one of the biggest markets of Jaipur with hundreds of shops. Here, the ‘Karigari’ is done by women & young adults in almost every household.

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2. Haldiyon Ka Rasta: Abutting Johari Bazaar, this market is easily accessible from Bari Chaupar. The sight of kite lovers carrying their exploits in bundles of 50s & 100s on top of their heads lest the kites get torn in the crowded market is a sure sign that you have encountered a kite ‘enthusiast’. In Haldiyon Ka Rasta, look for Jawahar Patang House.

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3. Jagannath Shah Ka Raasta: One of the older Bazaars in the city is located in Ramganj, it is here that the main buying & selling of Kites takes place. It is here that the High-quality kites from Lucknow, Bareilly & Rampur are bought and sold in bulk. The skilled Kaarigars from Uttar Pradesh also throng the market just before Sankranti & are known for their excellent finishing of Kites.

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4. Ghat Darwaza: Some of the most well-known and famous Kite shops in the city are near Ghat Darwaza. Just ask for the famous Aziz Bhai Ki Patang ki Dukaan or Zafar Bhai / Shahid Bhai’s shop.

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5. Kishanpol Bazar: It has some of the most colorful designs in the city both old and new could be found.

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The Maanjha comes only & only from Bareilly and is not made in Jaipur as its quality and expertise surpass all others.

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As we covered the last of the bazaars, we could hear the soulful fading notes of the evening Azaan at the Handipura bazaar, intermingled with the excited chatter of seasoned negotiations between the smiling shopkeeper & ‘Patangbaaz. As the glowing yellow bulbs started coming alive in the shops around, one could feel the growing excitement in the air and we knew the same passion will be spilled across the colorful dotted sky on Makar Sankranti and every kite will rise high and zealously fight to remain the last kite flying.

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And if you literally want to walk through the happiest markets of the town, watch this video !

Events in Jaipur · Fairs & Festivals · Jaipur · Jaipur Beat · Makar Sankranti

10 Most Popular Makar Sakranti Terms

The most awaited festival of the year in Jaipur, Makar Sakranti is here and we can see the kites romancing the winds all across the city.  While we all fix are music systems on our terraces and our mothers prepare steaming pakoras for us there is one more thing that defines the makar sakranti culture in our pink city and it is the unforgettable shabdkosh that springs up this season. Everybody, who has lived in this city have heard words like Pench Ladana, Wo kaata during this season. Just in case any of you have missed on the vocabulary that should be used during this season here’s a quick revision of the same.

1. Wo Kaata – While driving through the streets of Jaipur during this time very often you get to hear these words and the pitch at which these words are spoken you can obviously make out that they suggest victory over the opponent. In a ‘kite fight’ when one kite loses its battle and leave the winds to take back its place on the ground that’s when the whole mohalla can hear the sound of, ‘wooo Katttaaaa’

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2. Tang Dalna – Before the kites take off for their journey, we peg them up properly with strings and so that it becomes easy to hook it up with manja. We think that the term ‘tang dalna’ introduced by a young kid, who was quite upset with the fact that all he got to do during the event is to peg the kite when asked by his elders and who hardly ever got  a chance to actually fly one. Hmm…makes sense.

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3. Chutti Dena – Remember while you were young and preparing to learn kite flying. Yes at that time ‘Chutti’ given to your kite by your friend, cousin or sibling was enough to let your kite soar high. Since the term is mostly used by young kids the name of the term justifies itself.

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4. Pench Ladana – Now what fun can be attributed to kite flying unless two kite flyers get a chance to show their kite flying skills by entangling their kites and managing to hold on to them while the kites battle to stay in the sky. Makar sakranti sees a lot of ‘pench ladana’ both in the sky and on the roofs while young boys get to woo their beautiful neighbors.

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5. Dheel dena – The most important person in the whole kite flying activity is the one who is handling your Charkhi. He is the one who is at the beck and call of the kite flyer. Probably he is the one who hears this the most: ‘Zara Dheel Dena’

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6. Lapetna – Another sankrant terminology that is quite popular in pink city is Lapetna. Unless you don’t know how to roll on the most important accessory of kite flying, manja/sadda, then you are not a proper quite flyer. Apart from Sakrant the other place you hear the term ‘lapetna’ is when you are not able to swallow the big lies hurled at you by a show off friend.

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7. Thudda Modna – Remember how you need to shape up everything before you use it. Now that kite flying is such an important activity you definitely you need to prep up your kite before it goes up to make its place in the winds. Remember how you see young kids placing kites on their heads and bending them by the sides. Yes that’s it, Thudda modna or getting your kites ready.

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8. Dangal Ladane – Those who haven’t heard about this word have never been a part of an up class battle that people fight from high rise buildings and battle with others to let their kites soar high.

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9. Patang Lootna – If you haven’t done this you are not a true patang baaz. All of us buy a plethora of kites during this time but that cannot match the happiness one gets from one looti hui patang that you steal from the streets.

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10. Anti banana – Now this is one trick you need to learn if you wish to keep your manjja aur sadda in proper place. Remember all you need is your fingers placed apart and rolling on the thread between them at ease but still at a fast pace. Who said that kite flying is an easy task? Yes you have to learn all the tricks in order to place your accessories properly.

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Although most of you must have heard of all these terms earlier but we are sure that while reading this blog you must have realized that the festival of Makar sakranti or for that matter kite flying is not as simple as it looks, there is so much science behind it. We have shared a few terms that we knew if you know some more then don’t forget to add them in the comment.

Celebrations · Events in Jaipur · Food · Hot in Jaipur · Jaipur · Jaipur Beat · Jaipur Happenings · Lohri · Makar Sankranti

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 !!