The harassed mother said “go fly a kite” to an over-energetic son who needed to be kept occupied during the holidays. And the little boy happily picked up his guddi and ran out into the field. That of course, was many years ago. Kite flying has come a long way since then with the invention of motorized and even fiberglass kites converting it into a traditional sport. Did you know that in the year 1989, a new festival was born in India called the ‘International Kite Festival’?
Celebrated every year on the 14 January in Ahemdabad, the International Kite festival coincides with the festival of Uttaryan or Makar Sakranti and attracts tourists and international kite flyers from all over the world demonstrating their skills in flying exotic kites.
The Patang Bazaar, one of the highlights of the festival, stays 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’.
At night, illuminated box kites (often in a series strung on one line), known as ‘tukals’ soar into the sky to compete with the stars and dance and music fill the atmosphere to uplift the spirits of the entire city.
International Kite festival 2017
This year a week long Kite festival is being held at Sabarmati River Front in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad and the Gujrat Chief Minister, Vijay Rupani inaugurated the festival on 8th January, 2017. As many as two thousand students from the schools run by the Municipal Corporation performed ‘suryanamaskar’ during the opening ceremony of this festival. The attendees to the festival included kite fliers from Canada, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, New-Zealand, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and USA apart from the thousands of local kite flying enthusiasts.
Here are some glimpses of the exotic kites that soared in the Ahmedabad skies over the past few years. What a sight it must have been!
If you are a kite enthusiast too, this is the place you would want to visit next year during Makar Sakranti. For this year, you can follow the festival on the link blow: