Indians have a unique way to thank Mother Nature for her bounties. Harvest Festivals, celebrated in myriad ways across the country, are our way to show love and gratitude to glorious fertile lands and agricultural yields. Harvest festivals are community events, celebrated and enjoyed in large groups with shared activities and tons of sumptuous goodies. People dress up in the prettiest Indian-wear, and women splurge on colorful salwar suits, kurtas, and beautiful silk sarees for these days.
Makar Sankranti, one of the most popular harvest festivals, is known by different names and is celebrated between 13th to 17th January among Indians. While Punjab has its version of winter bonfire with dance and music fest & feast – called as Lohri, Sankranti becomes Uttarayan, one of the most awaited festivals in Gujarat – with its very own, indigenous Kite festival. In Southern India, this is an extended 4-day festival – Pongal, while in the North Eastern belt, it is known as Bihu.
Among these, however, the excitement and fun associated with Uttarayan are simply unmatched! Every year, Gujarat hosts an international Kite flying event around this time, that witnesses kite-flying enthusiasts from all over the world. Streets of Gujarat belie the arrival of the much-loved fest – months ahead of it – as one can see kite threads tied, getting dyed and reinforced for exciting kit-fights.
The early morning on the 14th of January is a pretty sight. Kites of all colors storm the landscape as far as the eye can see. Markets bustle with kites and Uttarayan-special goodies like Undhiyu (an exotic Gujarati version of winter veggies mix), Jalebi, and Til Laddoos. People dressed in Indian finery and Indo-Western fusion outfits gather in groups on terraces to fly kites and party all day. The vibe is electric, and everyone is super-excited. This festival is an occasion for grown-ups to catch-up, while it is a perfect opportunity for youngsters to strike new friendships and enjoy.
What are your plans for the Uttarayan party? Are you too geared up to make the most of this wonder fest Uttarayan? Here, we bring you a few lovely tips and ideas to make the most of this happy day (or two) –
Ideas and Tips for Uttarayan
in advance. You wouldn’t want to rush things up for the last moment, especially if you have plans for meeting up with your dear ones and engaging in kite-fights! So it would be best to shop for your favorite dresses as well as kites way ahead of the festival.
Indian Fashion Tip – Going for a whole day Uttarayan party? A cotton palazzo suit or a long flared Kurti dress will keep you stylishly comfortable throughout the day!
2. Put Together
a look, your plans, the music you want on your terrace, things you want, and all the details. You might as well tie the ‘kiniya’ a day before the Uttarayan finale!
3. Sleep Early and Leave Early
a day ahead of the festival. So, you are relaxed and rested – and ready to go, from early in the morning on 14th and 15th January. If traveling to a relative’s place or the well-known old city area– ensure you beat the mad rush by leaving for the venue early.
4. Make the most of the day/s
5. Go Out
Don’t sit at home; make it a point to go out and meet people. Festivals are the perfect reason to meet families or out of touch, so ensure you don’t miss this opportunity.
6. Dress Up
for the occasion – in the true-blue Indian spirit. If comfortable, choose silk sarees like Banarasis – as nothing can beat the Indian-ness of a heritage handloom weave. But, if you feel the weather will be too warm for heavy silk or the vibe would be too casual – pick a trendy lehenga suit in a light material or stick to the basics like cotton kurtas or chic Indo-Western suits that are much in vogue.
7. Be Safe
while kite flying or dancing, given many of you may be on terraces. Don’t jump around crazily, forgetting the boundaries. Guard against injuries from threads too. Be sun-safe as well – by donning hats, sunglasses, and sunscreens, if you plan to stay out in the sun for long. Guard against burn injuries and fire mishaps, if lighting tukkals or night lamps/ night kites are on the agenda. Use trusted stuff.
8. Mingle with Confidence
Smile and embrace; this day is all about you! The positivity and confidence you radiate go a long way in ensuring how people perceive you. If meeting and mingling with new people are on your mind – ensure you put your best yet relaxed step forward.
Dress comfortably and in a way that will not hinder your fun activities and dance/ kite flying movements. Avoid synthetic fabrics and cumbersome silhouettes or anything that will weigh you down. Polyester western tops, shirts, or thick jeans are not a good idea. Instead, shuddh desi stuff like roomy salwar kameez or a Patiala suit will work better. Even men can go for ethnic bottoms like Patialas and Afghani salwars – super Haute!
9. Be a Happy Eater
Your diet charts and fitness plans can take rest for a day! Indulge in festive savories and delicacies without fretting over the calories. However, avoid over-eating, maintaining balance is necessary too!
Keep yourself hydrated through the day – but avoid sodas and sugary drinks – they will give you a heavy, tired feeling, leaving you jaded. Chaas and Nimbu Paani are great, and so are protein shakes and smoothies. Avoid alcoholic drinks – all they do is ruin the atmosphere and happy vibes.
10. Don’t Overdo
anything. Don’t over-dress – for it will make you tired, leaving you clumsy and jittery. Don’t tire yourself out – find a place to sit and relax after every interval. Certainly – don’t over-eat, or you will be too sleepy to fly kites. Watch your words – and your steps.
Have a Happy and Safe Uttarayan!