Uttrayana is one of the major Vadodara festivals that is celebrated with pomp and grandeur throughout the Gujarat city. This traditional festival is a hallmark of the Vadodara culture. Technically speaking, Uttarayana marks the six months period between Makar Sankranti and the Karka Sankranti. The festival is celebrated around 14th January when the sun starts its traversal towards the northern hemisphere. This six month long journey culminates with the sun shifting towards the southern hemisphere towards the middle of July.

Popularly known as Makar Sankranti, Uttrayana is officially recognized as a National festival by Government of India. This auspicious festival also lionizes the commencement of the harvest season. Although, this festival is celebrated with pomp and grandeur in all states of the Indian subcontinent, the gala celebrations in the state of Gujarat deserve special mention.

This ceremony calls for a lot of revelry and jubilation with the native inhabitants of Vadodara city. Etymologically speaking, the term ''Uttarayana'' is a coined by the juxtaposition of the terms "uttar" and ''ayan", which when put together connotes the movement towards the north. The imminent arrival of summer is celebrated with mirth and merriment by all the citizens, irrespective of age, sex, caste or creed. The people dress up in colorful new clothes and congregate on their rooftops at the break of dawn. The beautiful azure sky is specked by the brilliant color of the innumerable kites that are flown during this ceremony. The people also gorge on a variety of sweetmeats like "Tal-sankadi" and "chiki", a toothsome cookie made of sesame and peanuts.

The festival culminates on the following day with the joyous celebrations of the Vaasi Uttarayana.

Last Updated on: 8/05/2013