NASHIK: Makar Sankranti festival is invariably about hope, fervour and pure, unfiltered enthusiasm. But since the pandemic outbreak, keeping celebrations in check while striving to keep the spirits high has become the new normal. This year’s Uttarayan is no different. The festival of Makar Sankranti, Uttarayan significantly mark the harvesting season of crops as the winter season ends and ushers in the spring.
Amid restrictions, in the city, people celebrated the festival by exchanging til gul in the evening, and flying kites in a day time. The enthusiasts hit the terraces in the afternoon enjoying flying kites, with the echoes of ‘Katli..re’ amid surging Covid19 cases and a slew of restrictions. With caution, the mood was upbeat in Yeola town known for its kite festival all over Maharashtra.
The people were seen rushing to terraces since the noon. The market had been buzz since Thursday to buy manja and colourful kites in different shapes and sizes. The major traffic congestion took place in Ravivar Karanj, Main Road, New Nashik, Panchavati, Satpur and the main market area of Nashik Road. In the afternoon, as soon as the loudspeakers and DJs’ sound were heard in Nashik, the police went straight to the terraces of the buildings and took action.
The newlyweds celebrated the first Sankranti festival with great enthusiasm. Ad per tradition gold and silver gifts were gifted to son in laws. As a result, there was a good turnover in the bullion market as well. Nylon manja used for kite flying has been banned. However, it is understood that many kite flyers bought nylon manja from somewhere in a secret way and flied kites in order to cut the kites.
On the other hand, these banned strings were being sold illegally at exorbitant rates. Therefore, police acted against those who went directly on to the terrace and carried nylon manja. After two o’clock in the afternoon, Speaker sounds were being heard on the roofs of many buildings in the city.
Sankranti, which has been quiet since morning, was seen in celebration mode in the afternoon. In New Nashik, the police went straight to the terrace and condicted surprise checks. On the occasion of Makar Sankranti, many people enjoed flying kites on the terrace.
Even though the response was less this year than every year, many people had brought kites on the earlier day to celebrate the festival of kite flying. However, as it was very cold in the morning, many reached the terraces and open spaces and grounds after one o’clock in the afternoon to enjoy the kite flying.
“I love kite flying and since I was a child, I haven’t missed celebrating it. Though there were no huge gatherings, it was a geat experience for flying a kite and enjoying the festivities with family,” said Ganesh Londhe, a Mhasrul resident. However, the enthusiasm of kite-flying was less this year due to the current pandemic situation and tightening restrictions by police amid govt guidelines. Five persons carrying nylon manja were arrested in Ambad police station.