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"Kite Fiesta"

It is time to welcome the beginning of
sweetness that bright
sunlight brings with it

The festival is celebrated every year on 14 or 15 January depending upon the solar cycle. They celebrate by taking an early morning holy dip in the river and offering prayers to the sun because according to Hindu mythology sun is one of the many God.

The kite festival of Uttarayan (Makar Sankranti) is regarded as one of the biggest festivals celebrated in western part of India. It marks the transition of the sun into the zodiacal sign of Makara (Capricorn) on its celestial path. The day is also believed to mark the arrival of spring in India. The tradition of kite flying is believed to have started amongst the kings and royalties, however over the years, it became a popular sport and began to reach the common mass. Kite flying during Uttarayan is now celebrated as a regional event.

This Makar Sakranti,

the sun rises with hope,

kites fly in the sky with vigour,

and the crops are ready

to be harvested

all signifying hope,

joy and abundance.

Kites flown these days are known to use a strong special string which is made by applying glass powder on it (known as Manjha) to provide it a cutting edge. This practice of using an abrasive thread for kite fighting has posed a great threat to species including birds, fruit-bats, macaques and even humans. The impact on birds however is much larger. Birds when in flight, fail to notice the fine glass-coated thread, get entangled and injured even causing fractures, mutilation of wings and nerve injuries.

At times, the minute glass pieces used in manjha get embedded in their bodies adding to the misery and eventual death. Additionally, these strings unlike their cotton counterpart do not lose its strength even after getting wet and hence stays for a long time in the environment, creating potential threat for the birds both local and migratory. With more kites competing for space with birds, the number of injuries has risen over the years.

Makar Sankranti celebration at Gajera International school marking the end of the harvesting season in India. Known as bhogali Bihu, Makar Sankranti, Lohri and Pongal, learners celebrated virtually this occasion, Colorful kites were shown to the learners with talks on different types of delicacies were the activities of the day. The celebration was in premises into a small India as educators came dressed in their own cultural attires. From Assam to Punjab and to Kerala and Tamilnadu, all of India was here today.

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