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Uttarayan is one of the first festivals of the year and one that is celebrated with much enthusiasm in the state of Gujarat. The festival marks the end of winter and the beginning of summer as the sun moves to the Tropic of Cancer bringing with it longer and warmer days. On the day of Uttarayan, the day and night are equal in duration as it is the end of winter solstice. The festival is called Uttarayan in Gujarat, however, it is known as Makar Sankranti in north and Pongal in south of India. The festive spirit is easily visible in the state not just on the day of the festival but also a few days before it. ALSO SEE This Raees song will transport you to Gujarat Also Read - Do You Have Celiac Disease? You May Die Prematurely

If you want to see the fervor of the festival, we suggest Gujarat during Uttarayan. It falls on January 14 almost every year with a few exceptions when it falls on January 15. The festival is to worship the sun god and people wake up early to seek its blessings. They step out as soon as the sun rises to soak in the first rays which are packed with Vitamin D. The festival is not just celebrated with religious rituals of pooja and aarti, in fact, the prime reason for all the excitement of Uttarayan is because of the International Kite Festival that takes place in Gujarat. ALSO SEE Everything you need to know about International Kite Festival  Also Read - Entertainment News Today April 9, 2020: Zoa Morani Feels Much Better Says She is Responding Well to The Treatment


Kite-flying is a very big part of the festival and people practise for months in advance to ace it. In fact, there are shops selling kites in all shapes and sizes and colors from November onwards. They even stay open throughout the night a few days before Uttarayan. The International Kite Festival concludes on Uttarayan and draws participants from all over the world. This is a serious competition however, people all Gujarat organzise smaller competitions too. There is one taking place on every terrace. Look at the sky and you will only spot colorful kites flying away during the day. From kids to adults, people get involved in this sport and often shout out Kai Po Che as they string their kite. The idea is to cut someone else’s kite so that yours stays the longest. In the process, they even hurt their fingers but it is all part of the fun.

From dawn to dusk, the kite-flying competition takes place all day long and in the evening, people light Chinese lanterns and float them in the sky. You will see yellow lights in the sky even at night. The festival of Uttarayan also calls for some yummy tradtional food that includes undhiyu, Surati jamun and til laddoos among other delicacies. Do sample these when here and the best way to eat them is from a Gujarati house instead of buying it from the market. The festival is one fun-filled one and has its charm of its own. Even though it is celebrated in other parts of the country also with different rituals, the one in Gujarat offers the best experience. ALSO SEE Importance and significance of Uttarayan


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