International Kite Festival, also known as Uttarayan, has become synonymous with the very culture of Gujarat. It is a festival which speaks for the traditions and for the joie de vivre that is associated with the advent of spring.
India has always been traditionally known to be the land of farmers. Gujarat’s Kite Festival, in a way, is a homage paid to thousands of those farmers who await the end of the harsh winter and the oncoming of the spring which marks the beginning of the harvest season. Popularly celebrated during the day of the Makar Sakranti, this festival has now gained international status and it witnesses participation from multiple countries.
It is needless to say that the whole of Gujarat erupts in ecstasy and enthusiasm over this festival. Almost the entire state comes under the grip of the Kite fever a few days prior to the date of Makar Sakranti. During the lead up to the festival, people of all ages throng the shops and stores to buy kites of various designs and colors. In this context, one must acknowledge that the festival is also an opportunity for the kite-makers to display their skills and to design innovative kites.
One must also appreciate the fact that this festival has kept alive the almost-dying tradition of kite-flying. There was a time when the whole of India indulged in kite-flying with utmost delight at various seasons of the year. But with the onslaught of technology and the curse of modern life, such archaic traditions are getting lost.
The International Kite Festival Gujarat, therefore, is symbolically richer as it keeps the flame of the old India alive.
The festival had its inaugural edition in the year 1989 and has ever since become an annual rite of the state. It is observed on the day of 14th January or as per the date suggested by the Hindu calendar.
Cities like Ahmadabad, Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara celebrate the festival with intense fervor. Some of the best locations to partake in the festival are Sardar Patel Stadium and the Ahmadabad Police Stadium.
With the New Year ringing in, people are getting gung ho about the International Kite Festival 2014 which comes calling on 14th January, 2014. This day will clearly witness the entire sky in Gujarat turning into a blitzkrieg of colorful and funky-looking kites. By kites, Indians usually mean the triangular-shaped paper kite which we used to fly during our childhood. But make no mistake about it, this festival boasts of international standard not for nothing. The kites that enliven the sky at this event are shaped in almost all forms imaginable. From the birds to the reptiles to the lamps, you can find kites off all dimensions of life.
The best place to enjoy the Kite Festival is the city of Ahmadabad, which is the Kite capital of the country. If you wish to be a part of this festival or be an audience to this magnum opus, make sure that you are in Ahmadabad on the 14th of January.