A festival of colors, Joy, food...

Ahmedabad Travel Blog

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Good combination of colors
The Kite Flying Festival takes place in mid January (14th & 15th of January) and marks the time when the Sun’s direct rays reach the Tropic of Capricorn, after the winter solstice. It is celebrated with lots of folk music and dance as well as kite flying. People of Gujarat gather on terraces to fly kites of various colours to celebrate Makar Sanskranti or Uttrayana, the welcome to the sun after the cold winter months. Glass strengthened threads of the Indian fighter kites are matched against each other in the air �" the kite fighter who cuts the other thread is the victor.  Food such as Undhiya, sugar cane juice and local sweets is typically served to celebrate the day.

In Gujarat, Makar Sankranti is kite-flying day.
kite shop
Traditionally celebrated on January 14 and 15, it is a holiday when every family can be meet outdoors 'cutting' each other's kites. This immensely popular kite flying festival is held in all the important cities of Gujarat. The festival lures expert kite-makers and fliers not only from major cities of India but also from around the world. A plethora of designer kites are also put on display.

The International Kite Festival is always held at Ahmedabad on January 14, to coincide with the festival of Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti. The people of Gujarat celebrate Uttarayan with a lot of enthusiasm and all business comes to a grinding halt for a couple of days. It is also a celebration to mark the end of winter.


Kite flying begins at dawn and continues without a pause throughout the day. Friends, neighbors and total strangers battle one another for supremacy and cries of triumph rend the air when someone cuts the line of a rival. A tremendous variety of kites are seen and the connoisseur can choose precisely what he wants. Experts specially prepare the lines with which the kites are flown on the great day.

People of all ages gather on terraces or rooftops and engage in kite flying. There is music in the air and traditional delicacies 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. This festival attracts international kite flyers and local champions as well, who demonstrate their skills in flying exotic kites.
Flying high
Come night and the illuminated kites known as tukals soar into the sky to compete with the stars.

One of the sidelights of the festival is the Patang Bazaar, which is open 24 hours a day in the heart of Ahmedabad during the Makar Sankranti week. A visit to this bazaar in the middle of the night proves beyond all doubt that the entire population of the city is obsessed with patangs and they crowd the streets and buy their stocks while haggling and enjoying through the night.

Special mixtures of glue and ground glass cover the lines, which are dried and rolled onto rears known as firkees. So sharp are these lines that, carelessly used, they can cut a finger.

The excitement does not end with nightfall, which is the time for illuminated box kites, often in a series strung on one line, to be launched into the sky.
Called tukals, they add a touch of splendor to the dark sky.

Special traditional food is eaten, usually in the open field or a park, or in the garden of one's home. Even for the religious, it is a time to rejoice, for it marks the movement of the sun into the Northern Hemisphere. The gods who are believed to have slumbered for six long months are now awake and the portals of heaven are thrown open. Devotees throng the temples of the city and distribute alms freely.

See you around there !!!! Till then keep Enjoying....

X_Drive says:
One of my best friends from here in California is Ron Gibian, a world known kite designer. See some of his at http://www.gibiankites.com
These can be so beautiful and watching them is amazing!! :D
Posted on: Apr 13, 2009
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Good combination of colors
Good combination of colors
kite shop
kite shop
Flying high
Flying high
Thread preparation
Thread preparation
kite flying
kite flying
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