Florida communities are gearing up to celebrate the festival of kite flying, Here are a few of the Florida communities celebrating the festival of kite flying, which also is known as Makarsankrant, Uttarayan, Lohri and Pongal.
SOUTH FLORIDA (LAUDERHILL)
The Indian Religious and Cultural Center (IRCC) will hold its Lohri/Republic Day/Anand Bazaar from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 26, at Central Broward Regional Park, Corporate Shelter No. 1, 3700 N.W. 11th Place, Lauderhill. For information, call (954) 543-1539, e-mail email@example.com or visit http://www.irccflorida.com/
The Gujarati Samaj of Tampa Bay will celebrate Uttarayan from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12, at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. 301 N., Tampa. The Samaj will sell kites and thread. There is free entry and free parking for Samaj members. Refreshment snacks and lunch will be served. Food will be provided by the Samaj. For more information, call Jyoti Gandhi at (727) 534-3767 or Sudhir Shah at (727) 686-7424.
Also, the Maayboli Melawa Tampa Bay (MMTB) will hold its annual Makar Sankrant program on Saturday, Jan. 25. For details, visit http://www.mmtbusa.org/
And on Saturday, Jan. 18, Sanatan Mandir, 311 E. Palm Ave., Tampa, will celebrate Lohri from 4 p.m. For information, call the temple at (813) 221-4482.
On Jan. 14, the Hindu Temple of Florida, 5509 Lynn Road, in Tampa will celebrate Makarsankrant with Surya Pooja at 10 a.m. For information, call the mandir at (813) 962-6890.
Also, Ambaji Mandir will hold a Makar Sankranti Puja on Jan. 14. Ambaji Mandir is at 10991 58th St. in Pinellas. For more information, call the mandir at (727) 388-6685, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ambajimandir.org
Vishnu Mandir in Tampa will celebrate Makarsankrant on Jan. 14. The temple is at 5803 Lynn Road. For information, call Dr. Sadhana Ramcharran at (727) 798-4258 or MJ Jaimangal at (727) 946-8144.
The Gujarati Association of Manasota will hold its Uttarayan celebration from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 19 at Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota. It is free for members and $10 for non-members. Kites will be available for purchase. For information, call Vishal Doshi at (941) 914-5878, Rina Patel at (941) 518-3462 or visit www.gujaratiassociationofmanasota.com
The Gujarati Society of Central Florida will celebrate Uttarayan on Sunday, Jan. 12, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Apopka City Athletic Complex, 3710 Jason Dwelley Parkway, Apopka. The event is free for 2013 society members; non-members pay $20. For more information, call Dipti Smart at (321) 695-4422, Rupal Shah at (407) 355-3521, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.gujaratisocietycfl.com
Pongal/Makara Sankranthi will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 14, by the Hindu Society of Central Florida (1994 Lake Drive) in Casselberry. For details, call (407) 699-5277, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.hindutempleorlando.org
The Orlando Marathi Mandal will hold its Makar Sankrant event on Jan. 18 from 11 a.m. at Barnett Park, 4801 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando. On the agenda are Limbu-Chamcha, Rassi Khech, volleyball, cricket, soccer, basketball, badminton and, of course, kite flying. Mandal members are free; non-members pay $10; for information, call (321) 947-7777.
The Bhartiya Samaj of Central Florida will celebrate Uttarayan from 11 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 12, at Mary Holland Park, North Broadway Ave., Bartow. For more information, call samaj president Subhash S. Patel at (863) 648-0294 or visit www.bscfl.com
On Jan. 12, there will be kite flying at Pushtidham (Haveli of Florida), 14080 S.W. 20th Ave. Road, in Ocala. For information, call Bharat at (973) 460-5936 or Raj Kamdar at (352) 568-5729.
DAYTONA BEACH/ORMOND BEACH
The Indian Cultural Society of Daytona has tentatively set its Kite Day Picnic for Saturday, Jan. 11. For more information, call (386) 795-0008, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.icsdaytona.com
MELBOURNE (SPACE COAST AREA)
The Indian Association of the Space Coast (IASC) will celebrate Uttarayan from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 12, at 7575 W. Highway 520, Cocoa. For information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.iascbrevard.com
NITISH S. RELE