All set for the biggest kite extravaganza on the 14th of January? This colourful festival of kites is observed every year and with time has gained so much popularity that it is celebrated at both the national and international level. The other names of the festival are ‘Uttarayan’ or ‘Makar Sankranti’, and is celebrated with full fervour in many different parts of the country.
The festival marks the beginning of summers and end of winters as per the Hindu calendar. According to the belief, the festival marks the awakening of gods from their 6 months-long slumber, and thus the festivities and celebration. This is the day when you see the sky twinkling with bright colours all day long. The preparation starts a week or ten days in advance, with markets sprawling up with kites of all sizes and shapes, some with fancy and some with meaningful quotes.
How is the Kite Festival celebrated?
The festivals draw expert kite makers and flyers from all around the country to participate in the day-long festivity. A special thread that is used to fly kite is made by the professionals. Why professionals? Because the thread is not your typical one but is coated with a mixture of glue and powdered glass to be as sharp as possible for cutting the strings of rival kites. If not taken care properly, then the thread can also cut or injure your palm. People of all age groups, from children to adults, participate in this festival with full zeal. From as early as 5 in the morning they are seen on their rooftops, some holding a spool (or firkin) of manja, kite-string, and some flying them.
Gujarat-the main hub of the festival
With so much of international acclaim, the Kite Festival is now celebrated as International Kite Festival in Ahmadabad, Gujarat. The fest is organised every year and this year the event will be from 7th to 15th January on the banks of Sabarmati (Gandhi to Nehru Bridge). A lot of volunteers from across the state and nation come together for this festivity. International visitors are most welcome to attend and learn Gujarati style of kite flying from the locals.
Apart from the main venue, the entire city of Ahmedabad turns colourful on this day. Turn around and you will see people on their terrace flying kites, screaming aloud, “Kai Po Che”, as and when they cut the other person’s kite. It is the time of social gathering and spending the day together. Families gather on the rooftop for group kite flying fun, ladies of the house prepare special foods like til laddoos, Chikki, undhyu or surati jamun that is relished by everyone over the course of the day.
Other Places where Kite Festival is celebrated
The cities are observed in hues of joy and excitement during the day long festivity of the kite festival. Apart from Gujarat, the Kite Festival is celebrated in many cities of Telangana and Rajasthan like Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Hyderabad, and Nadiad.
This festive season boost up the enthusiasm and bring out the child within you!