Makar Sankranti is predominantly a harvest festival celebrated throughout the country; the traditions and myths behind the festival varies from region to region. It is the only Indian festival which is celebrated on a fixed calendric day. This because the exact day on which the winter or summer solstice occurs remains steady in the solar calendar.
Sankranti marks the arrival of spring. On this day, it is believed that day and night are equally long. On Makar Sankranti, the sun enters the sun-sign of Capricorn or Makara. And the word Sankranti' signifies the movement of the sun from one zodiac sign to another.
Sankranti offers a good opportunity to indulge in lot of activities with kids. You can enjoy the beginning of spring with your family in a colourful, sweet and joyous way. Below are some tips to celebrate Sankranti with kids followed by some safety precautions that are a must to bear in mind.
Plan and organise celebration
Arrange for bright coloured new clothes for the entire family. Decorate your home and perform pooja or the traditions you follow. Include everyone in the family for all the activites.
Find out Fairs and melas that are held in your city. Attending a fair could be a good holiday entertainment for your family.
Essence and significance of the festival
Explain your child the significance of the festival –how it is important for the farmers, significance behind the holy bath, spreading of joy, forgetting bad experiences of the past and strengthening bonds. Don’t miss telling your child about the world famous Kumbh ka mela which is held every 12 years.
Til-gul ghya ani gud gud bola
Til and gud have strong religious and cultural association. Furthermore it is a healthy consumption during winter. The distribution of til and gud laddoos signifies bonding and spreading joy. It goes with the saying Til-gul ghya ani gud gud bola which translates ‘eat these sesame seeds and jaggery and speak sweet words’. You can involve children in til laddoo making process. They can simply roll the ladoo dough into little round balls.
Host a kite flying competition
Sankranti is widely associated with Kite flying and is rejoiced by kids and adults. You can involve kids to make kites and have a good time flying kites. You can explain kids about the traditional aspects of flying kite and how it helps to reap benefits of the sun rays. Kite flying with kids encourages bonding and also your child will learn tricks from you to cut manjha of your neighbour’s kite.
Decorate your house with rangoli
Rangoli is another popular activity done at Sankranti to welcome wealth and prosperity. Kids can add a lot of creativity and enthusiasm in making rangoli.
Safety tips for kids during Makar Sankranti:
Be mindful of the manjha
Manjha is the kite thread tied to it. Most people opt for glass-coated manjha so it is sharp to cut the thread of other’s kite. Opt for glass-free manjha to avaoid any cuts when you are planning to fly kites with kids
Choose a right place
Avoid organising kite flying on roof tops. There are lot of accidents that happen while chasing kites on terraces. Make sure you keep an eye on where your kid is flying kites.
Keep them hydrated
Between celebrations, we forget to make the child drink water at regular breaks. Since kite flying is done under the sun, it is sure to drain them out. Plan to carry energetic drinks to keep the child active and hydrated.
Protection from sunlight
Children’s skin are lot more sensitive than adults. Apply a good spf cream to protect your child from harsh sun light before he/she goes outdoor to have fun.