Uttarayan 2015


Sankranti, the spring harvest festival, is celebrated by Hindus worldwide, though the rituals and stories that are associated with the holiday are different in different parts of India. It is known as Pongal in Tamil Nadu (and Singapore lol), Bhogali Bihu in Assam, and Uttarayan in Gujarat, for example.

Earlier today, we flew kites (sort of) in West Coast Park to celebrate Uttarayan. Singapore Gujarati Society’s annual celebration featured food, music and—of course—kites (SG$10 for five delicate tissue-paper and bamboo patangs).

Traditionally, kites are steered using manja, kite strings covered in rice and ground glass which enables flyers to “fight” and bring down others’ kites. Singapore Gujarati Society’s celebration did not, as far as I noticed, and was incredibly toddler-friendly.

We weren’t very successful in getting our kites airborne. We’ve never celebrated Uttarayan! Can you imagine doing so in January in the Northeastern United States? Still, it was such joy watching more skilled flyers’ kites climb, dip, and veer.