Makar Sankranti in Dubai!! Sounds Crazy right? But did you know, according to 2013 census report, 4,000,000, which is around 40% of the UAE’s total population are Indians? Well, now you know!! Makar Sankranti which is also known as Uttarayan is widely practiced in Gujarat and in some parts of India. ‘Makar = Capricorn & Sankranti = Transition’ signifies the season transition from winter to spring which also means a new beginning. ‘Uttarayan’ on the other hand means northern moment which signifies movement of the earth in the region north of the equator, thanks to Wikipedia for that information. Every year it falls on 14 of January which makes it the only Hindu festival with a fixed date every year.
Makar Sankranti in India was crazy fun. The entire town used gathers on their rooftops to fly the kites with loud music, food and lots of fun. I am married to a Gujarati which makes me half guju and growing up in Mumbai around Gujaratis completes the other half, so I was well versed with the culture, food, and language. Flying kite is not a hobby for Gujaratis, It is like a sky war where kites are your weapon and you are the soldier fighting to win the sky, Mind it! It was a sight to watch Kids running behind the falling kites, climbing trees to catch it & claim it. I know it sounds madness but that’s how it is.
Like they say “a moment is best experienced at the heart of all the action” & I was told that Kite flying in Dubai Is equal fun. This year Makar Sankranti was organized at Mamzar Park in Dubai. It was quite windy, cold & clear sky, Perfect conditions to fly kites. The place was quite crowded, with the sight of the sky full of colorful kites. Unlike India, In Dubai, there is no rooftops access coz of safety reasons, so we organize such festivals in open grounds. Flying kites is no child’s play, It needs technique and a lot of experiences I realized this when I saw people flaunting their kites just coz it was specially imported those from India, remember the battle thing I just told you about? & on the other hand, people like me, buy kites from an Indian supermarket by paying double the price. We bought 2 sets, 5 kites in each and 2 rolls of string (which was just like any normal thread) to fly the kites for almost 75 DHS, It is EXPENSIVE!! In India, I could have bought the whole store in that much… well not really…. but you know what I am saying right?
After standing in the Queue for almost an hour to buy the entry tickets, we entered the storm. People were preparing their kites, getting ready to conquer the sky. I was amazed to know that there were around 300 guju families approximately 700 people in just one place. And there were 2 to 3 places more around Dubai where Uttarayan was organized. GUJU POWER I must say!! There was food, Music, friends and ample of fun. I love events like this where you get to meet so many people of your kind.
So what’s your story? Do let me know, would love to hear from you.