Kite Festival is a spring welcoming festival. It is celebrated at the beginning of Spring season which is known as Basant Panchami. It has celebrated every year. This year 10 February is going to celebrate as a Basant day. Basant is not a public holiday, it is an optional holiday. It got a very interesting history about, How it started to celebrate and How it has celebrated? But firstly it is important to know
Are Basant Panchami and Makar Sankranti same festival?
No, Basant Panchami is a kite flying festival.
But Makar Sankranti is an ancient India festival which is celebrated according to Indian calendar. It has celebrated in the last days of the winter season and at the beginning of long days. Makara Sankranti is observed with social festivities such as colorful decorations, Melas (fairs), dances, feasts, bonfires, and it also includes kite flying. In this festival, rural children are going home to home singing and asking for treats for their elders.
How did it start to celebrate? and Who introduced the Kite Festival?
The answer to this question takes us to the past. The history of Basant Panchami starts with an interesting Idea of welcoming spring by Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his wife Moran Sarkar. But before continuing the history of Basant firstly we must know who are they.
So here is a short biography of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his wife Moran Sarkar.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh
He was born on November 13, 1780, Gujranwala. Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the leader of the Sikh Empire. He ruled the northwest Indian subcontinent in the early half of the 19th century. He survived smallpox in infancy but lost sight in his left eye.
In different occasions, he got many marriages. According to some scholars he had twenty wives. Contrast still, it is possible that it was more than that because he had many mistresses. Ranjit Singh had eight sons.
In the 1830s, Ranjit Singh suffered from numerous health complications as well as a stroke, which some historical records attribute to alcoholism and a failing liver. He died in his sleep on 27 June 1839. The Samadhi of Ranjit Singh is located in Lahore, Pakistan, adjacent to the iconic Badshahi Mosque.
Moran Sarkar was born in a Muslim family in Makhanpur, near Lahore and Amritsar. She was a dancer/nautch girl. She became an Indian queen after married with Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab in 1802. A year after marriage at the age of 21 she has officially given the name of Maharani Sabiba.
Coming back towards history. Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his wife Moran Sarkar started celebrating a spring welcoming event. They were wearing yellow dresses and flying kites. This event held annually which has given the name of Bassant or Basant Panchami. Therefore it also introduced kite flying as a feature of the fairs held during the 19th century which included holding fairs at Sufi shrines.
Contrast Basant festival lasts for 10 days every year Enumeration Maharaja Ranjit Singh was also organizing a military power show competition among his soldiers. The soldiers had to wear a yellow dress.
Soon Basant and flying kites become a Punjabi tradition. It celebrates in the different part of Pakistan and India. Amritsar, Lahore, and Kasur are the traditional areas where kite flying festivals held. Other traditions of the Basant in Lahore included women swaying on swings and singing.
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