The colourful kite-flying festival of Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan, which falls on January 14 each year, marks the end of a long winter and the return of the sun to the northern hemisphere. Hence the name Uttarayan.
Bablu hated the ritual of prayer and fast that his family had been observing for as long as he could remember. The entire family had to wake at dawn and have a dip in the village pond, even if it was in the middle of the bitterest winter.
In two weeks it will be the winter solstice (literally means sun standing still) when we have the shortest day and the longest night. Because of the earth’s rotation there are two solstices, one in June and one in December.
Autumn was coming to an end. All the insects and animals were working very hard to stock their larders with enough food to last them the winter. They all knew that winter time would be tough – it would be cold and food would be scarce.
All living beings have enemies. And they all have developed interesting ways to keep them at bay. Some animals hide, others run, or just fly away when faced with danger. These are their defence mechanisms.
Did you know that the celebrations at Christmas might have nothing to do with the birth of Christ? In fact they may well lie in a feast called Sacaea that was celebrated thousands of years before Christ’s birth.
December 27: Every winter, the Delhi Zoo in New Delhi, India, spruces up for the visit of some special foreign visitors. They fly in from the distant lands of China, Japan and Central Asia to escape sub-zero temperatures back home and bask in the warmer Delhi sun.
Many people living in Andhra Pradesh may have escaped the wrath of the cyclone that ravaged the state last month, but the migratory pelicans, in a small costal village in northern Andhra, weren’t quite as fortunate.
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