Kite festival is also known as Makar Sankranti in most parts of the country. It is one of the most auspicious days for Hindus and is celebrated with myriad cultural forms, with great devotion, fervor, and gaiety. Thousands of people take a dip in the holy river, Ganga Sagar. Lord Sun is worshipped on this occasion. It is the day for which Bhishma Pitahmah kept waiting to leave his mortal coil.
On Makar Sankranti day the Sun begins its ascendancy and journey into the northern hemisphere, and thus it signifies an event wherein the Gods seem to remind their children that Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya, which means may you go higher and higher, too more and more light and never to darkness.
The story behind the celebration of this festival is that on this day Sun visits the house of his son Shani, who is the swami of Makar Rashi. These father and son do not ordinarily get along nicely, but in spite of any differences between each other Lord Sun makes it a point to meet each other on this day. Father in fact himself comes to his son's house for a month. This day has symbolized the importance of the special relationship of father and son. It is the son who has the responsibility to carry forward his father's dream.
As we all know that Makar Sankranti is also known as a kite flying festival in many parts of India. Gujarat and Jaipur in Rajasthan are famous for their kite festivals. Jaipur organizes an international kite festival every year. Makar Sankranti is a popular word in Rajasthan whereas Utran (derived from Uttarayan in Sanskrit language) is in Gujarat. Basant Panchmi is also popular for the kite festivals in some places of India. Kolkata celebrates the kite festival on Vishwakarma Puja.
Kite is also called Patang in Hindi language. Hence the festival is also referred to as Patang Utsav in India. Patang is also called Guddi in many places in northern India. A special type of thread is used to fly kites and that is called Manjha.
Kite festivals have a great effect on our health. Both Makar Sankranti and Basant Panchmi come in winter season. Sun rays are very good for health in the winter season. The rays are very harmful in summers. Hence Indian people can take sunbathe in winter only. Kite flying is a good way to get direct sun rays.
Kite festivals encourage people to go to the rooftops or to the open grounds to take sunbathe. It strengthens arm muscles and is a good exercise for the legs and eyes.
This festival brings joy in everybody's lives. Kites with different sizes, colors and qualities are found in the skyline. It looks very nice and pleasant when kites of various colors fly in the sky. It is really colorful. Even trees are found ornamented with kites fallen over these trees. These scenes fill the mind with joy and happiness.