Gujarat organizes many cultural festivals round the year; the International Kite Festival that takes place in Ahmedabad is one of them. Kite manufacturers and master kite flyers from across the world come here with various kinds of kites. This festival is held at a juncture in between the end of winter and the beginning of summer season based on the Hindu calendar. People from different parts of India come to enjoy the scene of kite flying. In this festival, you will find different kinds of traditional Indian foods like ‘Undhyu’ and ‘Laddoos’. This festival is famous by the name “Uttarayan” in Gujarat. Apart from Ahmedabad, kite festivals are also held in places like Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara, Nadiad and other places as well. The time of Uttarayan coincides with Makar Sankranti and Pongal festivals that are celebrated in other parts of India.
Not only Indians but also people of various countries join at the International Kite Festival, Ahmedabad. The most suitable place to enjoy the festival is at Sardar Patel Stadium and the Ahmedabad Police stadium, from where you will be able to enjoy seeing the bright colors of the flying kites. During this festival, the markets in this area are flooded with many kites of different sizes and colors. Customers would be ready to buy the kites of their choice at much higher costs as well. You can also visit the kite museum that exhibits different varieties of kites.
There is a historical background for this kites festival. This kite flying festival symbolizes raising the Gods from their sleep. Throughout the history, this festival has been related to kings and their raising powers. Many international participants attend this festival with their colorful kites. The Wau-balang kites from Malaysia, 11 Ayang kites from Indonesia, the giant banner kites from the USA, Rokkaku fighting kites from Japan, Italian sculpture kites and Flying Dragon kites from China are some of the examples. Skillful kite flyers from across the world compete with each other to cut the strings of the nearby kites and bring them down. Many celebrities like well-known artists and politicians also visit the kite flying festival.
The kites in these festivals are usually made of leaves, plastic, metal, wood, nylon or some other materials. The main attraction is the central kite that is made of bamboo and lightweight paper; it has its own unique shape. The color and decoration of this kite makes it exceptional. The main attraction of this festival comes just after the dark when kites with lights in them known as “Tukkals” can be seen flying in the skies. During this festive season, people enjoy the beauty of kites and at the same time, they like to have varieties of food. They love to watch the live performance of the artists but still the main attraction is the kites. People love to enjoy the day flying kites not just in Ahmadabad, but elsewhere too. If you happen to be in Gujarat during mid-January, claim no reason to miss this wonderful festival.
Date: January 14th, 2014
“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu