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Posted by on Jan 14, 2014 in Celebration, Food-lens, Indian | 0 comments

Happy Sankranti

Happy Sankranti

Today, Makar Sankranti is celebrated at my home back in India. Growing up,I always felt the dry spell of no festivities for almost two months ,after  Diwali, in November. Every year we celebrated this on Jan 14th.I always thought of it as the start of the  Hindu festivities for the year.

What I remember the most about this festival?

Eating, no doubt.Though there are  assortment of festive foods in general but I must add,most Indian festivals also have the tradition of feasting on very particular set of foods on a given festival.

The part of India where I come from,North-East,highlight of our meal was  ‘Dahi-chura ‘(Yogurt with pressed/bitten rice),along with laddus(sweet balls) made of puffed rice or sesame seeds and jaggery and ‘tilkut’.DSC_0034

Since everything was so sweet,my mom always made a side vegetable dish, “Aloo-Gobi Dum”(Potatoes with cauliflower and peas cooked in assortment of spices).DSC_0053

Astrologically,this is the time when sun moves to  the celestial path of ‘Makar’ ,zodiac sign of ‘Capricorn’.It indicates the end of the winter and start of the spring.  The day is also marked with holy bath ritual in many part of the India. Taking a dip in Ganges  river or the confluence of three holy rivers (Ganges, Yamuna, mystic Saraswati) is supposed to bring the atonement for sins. Every 12 years,”Kumbh Mela”  at the confluence of these three holy river is major event for devout Hindus.

However, the tone of this festival is not always religious. Every part of India celebrates it with different name and different food and traditions.”Lohri” in Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana ,(North),” Pongal” in Tamilnadu(south),”Sankranti” in Andhra Pradesh(South),”Bihu” in Assam(East), uttarayan(Gujrat) are some of the different names.


My aunt grew up in the state of Gujarat  where uttarayan is celebrated.” Kite flying is the highlight of the this day along with very specific set of foods, none that I grew up with.’Undhiya’,a very typical Gujarati dish,is the must have .


This is how my aunt describes the day of the festivity:

  • A family hosts the kite flying event on the terrace.{ Most Indian homes are brick and mortar, concrete structure,with flat concrete roof, called terrace.I have many many fun memories of playing on the terrace with the friends. It is often a place to mingle and socialize with neighbors. }Many friends or whole apartment block gather together on the top of terrace for kite flying. The music systems with speakers are set up and ready to rock. The kids & the men start their kite flying festivities around 9 -9.30 in the morning.The ladies join in as early as they can, around noon ,since they have to be finished with prepping the feast
  • Each ‘roof’ is in competition with the ‘roof’ next to it.It is loud and screaming event with applause  directed towards soaring or fading kites.
  • Depending on whenever folks are hungry,people chow down on the food.
  • In the evening,everyone goes back on the roof with the ‘lanterns’ for another round of kite flying.

Typical,uttarayan Food may consist all or at least some of these :  gujju farsans (appetizer) – khaman, fafda, bhajiya, pakodas, samosa, patra,dhokla, ponk wada,  soda. All these these arebrought up on the roof while the dance, music and kite flying is going on.Regular festive food such as Biryani, Pulao, tea,lassi,  jalebi,Gulab jamun,you name it,is always there.

Happy Sankranti !





  1. Festival of India – Sankranti | Food,Fork,Plate & Handful of Joy - […] it depends on which part of India you are celebrating it.Isn’t that neat? I call it ‘Makar Sankranti’ because…

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