Jaipur is the land of various fairs and festivals. Always immersed in colours of vibrant festivals, this place attracts everyone who wants to experience the real beauty and charm of Indian festivals. Festivals of each religion are enjoyed with equal enthusiasm and enjoyment. Every festival has its significance, be it greeting a season, praising the Lord, desiring for good health and long life of spouse, worshipping trees and animals in the form of God or anything. Such festivals are an essential part of the lives of people in Jaipur and they give you a broader insight into the traditions of Rajasthan.
One of the most famous festivals of Rajasthan is the Makar Sankranti or Kite Festival. Definitely, it is a festival which is exclusive in its own way. Multi-coloured kites flying across the sky make it look brighter and colourful. This festival is mostly celebrated in Jaipur and Jodhpur. The lanterns or kites-with-lights flown at night make the festival more beautiful. If anyone likes kite flying, this festival is definitely for them. You should visit Jaipur in January to have a delightful experience of this colourful festival. During this time of the year, the sky looks apparent and the breeze is pleasing, together creating an ecstatic atmosphere. On the auspicious time of Makar Sankranti, bathing in Haridwar, Kashi and other religious sites hold great importance.
Kite festival of Jaipur is also known as Uttarayan. It is celebrated on the 14th of January every year. This festival celebrates the transition of the sun from zodiac sign Sagittarius (dhanu rashi) to zodiac Capricorn (makar rashi). This day is regarded as an auspicious one since it is believed that Uttarayan or the northward journey of the sun starts on the day of Makar Sankranti. Kites of all shapes and sizes can be observed in the sky and people or groups compete to cut the strings of their nearby kite flyers so as to bring their competitors' kites down. For this objective, people make their strings as sharp as possible, to give strong competition to their rival flyers. The extraordinary kite strings are covered with combination of glass and glue known as 'manjha'.
On this day, the people of Jaipur take a sacred dip in Galtaji, which is a significant pilgrimage spot in Jaipur. They pray to the sun god to ask for blessings of well-being, prosperity and good crop. On this event, Pink City turns multi-coloured with beautiful kites flying in the sky. Makar Sankranti is an observed government holiday in Jaipur, which adds to the enthusiasm of the celebrations. All shopkeepers keep their shops closed, banks stay closed and everyone gets engaged in kite flying. Several kite flying contests are also organized by several kite clubs.
The people of Jaipur enjoy Makar Sankranti with a variety of sugary delights including 'til ke laddu', which are prepared from sesame seeds, 'gajak', which is Jaipur's famous sesame brittle and 'feeni'.