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Uttarayan Ahmedabad

Traditional Kite Festival in India at 14th & 15th January 

Busy with her household work, irritated mother said, “Just go and fly a kite. Let me do my work” to her hyperactive child to make him involve in some kind of work. And, the happy chap with his guddi and kites ran out to the open ground.This was the situation many years ago. Kite flying has now taken a step ahead with advanced motorized and even fibreglass kites in competition with paper kites. Nevertheless, with the changing times the urge to fly Patangs, Indian name for kites, has not slowed down. However, on the contrary people are taking more interest in this age-old tradition. People of all ages, during Makar Sankranti, eagerly rush to rooftops and terraces, as open fields and grounds are missing in towns and cities, to fly kites of different types of colours and sizes.Gujarat, specially known for Uttarayan, specially enjoys Makar Sankranti as kite-flying day. It is celebrated on January 14, every year when the family members come together and enjoy the jest of cutting each other’s kites. Important cities of Gujarat are the host of this popular kite flying festival. This festival attracts Connoisseurs of kites from the world over along with native kite fighters. Miniature as well as colossal designer kites forms the part of kite exhibitions.

The International Kite Festival, coinciding with the festival of Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti, is always held at bustling Ahmedabad. People of Gujarat enthusiastically celebrate Uttarayan where the business houses take a small break from work for a couple of days. This celebration marks the end of winter.

CELEBRATIONS

People start flying kites at the onset of dawn and the craze continuing the whole day. The air is filled with triumph cries when people eagerly cut the line of a rival. The sky is filled with different colours of kites. Hence, the appearance is awesome and very beautiful. Keen kite fighters use their skills in preparing their special lines with which the kites are flown on the great day.

All age group people go to rooftops or terraces and get engrossed in kite flying. With the air full of music, people enjoy traditional delicacies, which are especially prepared for this day. The Gujarat State Tourism Corporation organizes an International Kite Festival every year and the venue of the event is either the Sardar Patel Stadium or the Police Stadium in Ahmedabad. Connoisseurs of kites as well as local champions wait eagerly for this international kite festival to prove their skills in flying designer kites. The end of the day is not the end of this festival because the night comes along with tukals, illuminated kites, and glide high into the sky to compete with the stars.

RITUALS

Makar Sankranti marks the movement of the sun into the Northern Hemisphere. It is a belief that the gods who are believed to have slumbered for six months are now awake and the portals of heaven are thrown open. Devoted people swarm the temples and distribute alms freely.

People prepare special sweets made of jaggery and til (sesame). People also love to cherish the taste of traditional food items especially prepared for this day.

REGIONAL CELEBRATIONS

Regions like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi etc. also celebrate this kite festival with great enthusiasm. The Kite Festival of Rajasthan holds special importance as a number of tourists visit this festival every year to participate and see the state at its colourful best.

PLACES TO VISIT

Vibrant Ahmedabad in Gujarat is the best place to celebrate this festival. Rajasthan, Delhi and Haryana also are the interesting places to visit during this festival.

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