Kapyo Che! Uttarayan and Kites

Craft, Handloom, Art

Kapyo Che! Uttarayan and Kites

Kaul, Mayank Mansingh

First published on August 5, 2008 on Asia Inch.

Come January and pink is in the air across towns and cities in Gujarat. Rows of small foot-path shops start lining up the sides of roads with manja being made in bright colours: Uttarayan, the kite-flying festival is approaching! Among the numerous small and big festivals that Gujarat celebrates, this one is certainly one of the most looked forward  to: rarely do the joys of sport, of secular celebration and community togetherness converge as in Uttarayan, showing the continuing rootedness of Indian people in forms and expressions of traditional value. The word Uttarayana is believed to have come from the joining of two Gujarati words- Uttar meaning ‘north’ and Ayana meaning ‘coming’, and marks the day when the sun starts its northern movement, bringing in the summer months. Uttarayan more generically refers to the six months between Makar Sakranti, falling on January 14, and Karka Sankranti, falling on July 14. The period from July 14 to January 14 is called Dakshinayan, when the sun travels south (dakshin literally meaning ‘south’). This is harvest time in most parts of the country, and Maka...
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