Makar Sankranti is a winter festival celebrated with different names and ways in the different part of India like Lohri in North India, Sukarat in central India, Bhogali Bihu by Assamese Hindus, and Pongal in some South Indian states. In Rajasthan itself there are different forms in which this festival is celebrated, in Jaipur people fly Kites on this occasion, you will see the sky full of Kites. In Udaipur the festival is celebrated with the same enthusiasm but differently, I being born and brought up in Udaipur have some unforgettable memories of the festival, here is the beautiful childhood reminiscence of ‘Sankrat’ in Udaipur, hope every Udaipurite will be able to connect.
1.Playing Sitoliya with neighbors and cousins
‘Sitoliya’-the game used to be the main attraction of the day, the game is played between the two teams which involves hitting a stack of 7-8 flat surfaced stones kept over one another by one team member and rearranging them back shouting ‘Sitoliya’ on a successful hit, the game used to be the real fun playing with neighbors and cousins, dodging the ball by all means on successful hit still infuses thrill in us. The stacked stones are called ‘Sitoliya’. There are still many fortunate people who are in Udaipur and still gets a chance to play the game.
2.The Cheer of buying new ball
The new ball to play used to bring in lot of cheer and excitement, we used to buy balls by choosing from plastic, rubber or sponge ball and it used to bring hell lot of excitement if we received the ball as a gift from others. The ball with a cap and toffees inside used to give a happiness of another level J
3.Carrying ball to school and playing with it.
In some schools there used to be playing sessions held on ‘sankrat’ and carrying ball to the school and playing with the friends was super fun.
4.The Suspense in the ‘Til Laddu’
The suspense of the ‘Til Laddu’ was even bigger than the ‘CID’ suspense, the delight of finding a 2 rupee or a 5 rupee coin was unmatchable. If our sibling or cousin by luck gets a higher value coin then it used to bring great discontent too 😉
5.The tasty laddu, Chapda, revadi, and Kheech
Apart from the games, sankrat also brings with it some delicious winter sweets such as ‘Til ke laddu’, ‘Revadi’, ‘Moonfali and Sev chapda’, and ‘Kheech’ (a desert made from milk and boiled wheat).These sweets tastes best in this weather and have health benefits too.
6.The bonus ‘Gifts’
‘Sakranti’ is considered as a holy festival to give ‘gifts’ to sister in law and children and thus women distributes various ‘articles’ ‘chocolates’ ‘suhagin items’ and toys, the joy of receiving any such gifts was/ is superb.