The festival of Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti is celebrated across India on January 14th and 15th, but the fervour with which it is celebrated across Gujarat is worth witnessing and enjoying. Uttarayan is a Hindu festival that heralds the end of winter and movement of sun northwards. On this day, the skies over Gujarat are a spectacle. Vast swathes of blue sky are overrun with kites of all hues, shapes and sizes. Children wake up early to rush to their terraces to fly their kites. Skies over Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Nadiad, Rajkot and other cities are filled with kites. Children and their parents compete with each other to cut the strings of other kites and see who ends up with the biggest loot of cut kites at the end of the day. The fun-filled competition fills the air with joy and festivity. Beginning from dawn till evening, kite flying goes on unabated. Terraces and rooftops are laden with food and yummy goodies, as the entire family participates. Among the lovely venues to enjoy kite flying is Sardar Patel Stadium that has a capacity of over 50,000 people.
Rooftops and highways are crowded. It is a holiday, and children come out in full strength. The fervour is extremely contagious and fun.
Ahmedabad plays host to International Kite Festival every year from 7th to 14th January in collaboration with Tourism Corporation of Gujarat. Last year was the 25th year! Kite making activity begins in full earnest right from November. In the old city of Ahmedabad, Patang Bazaar is the hub of activity. Kite makers and suppliers from across the state descend here in preparation of Uttarayan celebrations. A visit to this place is a colourful learning experience for children and adults alike.
Ahmedabad has been able host for International Kite Festival every year since 1989. Kite makers and kite flying enthusiasts from around the world converge in the city to celebrate their passion of kite flying. Visitors from across the country and the world come to Ahmedabad for the International Kite Festival. international visitors come from many countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, US, Australia, Italy, UK, the Middle East, Brazil and many more. You can see spectacular kites like Flying Dragon kites from China, llayang-llayanghave from Indonesia, Rokkaku fighting kites from Japan, Wau-balang kites from Malaysia and many other truly eye opening varieties including some fantastic ones from India like the box kites, hand-painted artistic kites to high-speed sport kites.
Apart from interaction and meeting with various kite makers and passionate kite flyers, there are other fun and cultural activities that one can enjoy at the Festival. Savour the delicacies of Gujarati cuisine and festival goodies at the various stalls and shop for your favourite kites and exchange interesting anecdotes. This is truly a time to rejoice and celebrate at International Kite Festival in Ahmedabad. Don’t miss the one in January 2014!
Pictures Courtesy: http://en.wikipedia.org and http://Wikitravel.org