Poush Sankranti Festival 2011

Friday, 14th January 2011

Flying Kites

Last year I have missed the chance to enjoy this ineffable festival for some personal reason, but this year I have made it. "Paush Sankranti" mainly a Hindu festival, and used to celebrate at Bangladesh(specially at Old Dhaka) and India. At the last day of Bengali Calendar month of "Poush", this festival gets the celebration.

Kites stuck at palm tree

Poush Sankranti is also known as "Sakraine" at Old Dhaka. This is known as "Makar Sankranti" to Hindu People, makar means the Capricorn(14th January), a zodiac sign. It has several names at different part of this sub continent. For example at Maharashtra, this is sometimes known as "Til Sankranti", and they used to make "Naru" from the seed of "Til". Its known as "Pongol" at South India, and known as "Bihu" at Assam. This is one of the biggest festival at India, and they celebrate the day with a holiday. But at Bangladesh, Hindus are not in majority, and thus, its only limited among Hindu people, and no holiday.

I went to the "Lakkhi Bazar" area around at 4:00 of the afternoon. Already lot of kites were flying at the sky that time. Different colors, and sizes. Most of the roofs of those old buildings were occupied with youngs(mostly) and some elders. I was with my friends there, and non of us were local. It is hard to manage yourself at the roof of the building, and you will miss if you failed to manage a roof. Somehow, we have manages an old palace type of building with the help of a local boy named "Hridoy".

Kite Catcher

It was amazing to be with the festive people at Old Dhaka. Lot of musics, and everyone playing their own music on loud speakers. Hindi, Bengali, English, old, new, lots of different categories. It is also hard to concentrate any particular music sources if you try. Also the chaos from the people makes the situation more amazing. If you want to talk even with your friend on your right, he hardly can hear you for that tumultuous situation.

Catching kites with Bamboo

There are three type of groups gathered at roof. One group used to fly kites. They are prepared with 8-10 kites an average. Second group used to catch the kites. Using the Bamboo stick, they are doing this easily. Kites used to fall due to low wind under it, or get cut after fighting with other kites. The third group is the spectators, they don't do anything, like me. Just watch, and enjoy the rhythm of the moment.

Holding flare at roof top

When the sunset is impending, people used to play with fires. The lit the Moshal(torch) and blow(spray) the kerosene from mouth to make the torch inflame. I have seen this kind of works at television, but never got any chance at live. One people from our roof did this subtly. This view is identical at all of the roof top of other buildings.

After the sun down, its party time with fireworks. "Potka", "Atosh Baji", rockets are the main ingredient for this party. Sky used to be bright even at night by the colorful sparks produced from those. Sounds like gun fire produces from those too. If you see this from roof, you will feel like its a situation of war. People used to spent thousands of Taka(local currency) behind this fireworks. I have added some moving snaps of fireworks at my video.