A festival of colors, Joy, food...
Ahmedabad Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
January 15th, 2009 – by: shahrachit
In Gujarat, Makar Sankranti is kite-flying day.
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.
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.
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....
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