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india kite festival

Kite flying in Gujarat – A Festival of Fun, Fantasy and Colours

Ahmadabad, fondly nicknamed as ‘Manchester of India’, is a city in Gujarat. It has been hosting International Kite Flying festival since 1989. Preparation is underway much before the festival day when the city witnesses fervour pitch and passion riding to a new high in the presence of thousands of kite fanatics.

It is just like a big matchday for the participants and the viewers as well. Passion runs high in everyone present at the event. And when the moment finally comes, the blue sky appears dotted with coloured spangles. Kites of different shapes, colours and contours redefine the familiar blue canopy overhead in a new way. And none can help but fall in love with such colourful and spectacular display on nature’s canvas.

The kite flyers, assistants and also those in audience are heard crying at the top of their voice. The kite flyers are found almost at war, trying to hand defeat to others. Joy, enthusiasm and excitement are nowhere to miss in the ambience. According to rule of the game, if the thread of someone’s kite is cut by another kite flyer, it marks his defeat. Almost simultaneously, audience on all hands started crying “Kai Po Che”, which is an expression in Gujarati language and means “I have cut” in English.

Kite was invented in China almost 2800 years ago. Over the ages, kites have evolved a lot to make transformation from a medium for weather forecast, aerial mode of sending messages to the opponent and offering prayers to God to a thing for pure fun and entertainment. Kite flying is now a huge attraction for people of different age groups. This year, the festival will be organized on January 14, and the occasion is a big draw for kite makers and kite flyers as well.

On the same day – 14th January – Makar Sankranti is celebrated all over India. This is a time when winter rules throughout the country. But brewing up with unbridled enthusiasm, the kite flyers slalom the odd weather and come out with motley of kites. Hues and cry fill and warm up the environment, almost driving others out under the open sky. And it is not only the Indians but also the kite flyers from different corners of globe jet to Gujarat ahead of this festival. For a few days, Ahmadabad becomes a mini world, symbolizing versatility, variety, vibrancy – different aspects and colours of life.

Indonesia’s Llyng-llyanghave kites, Japan’s Rokkaku kites, Malaysia’s Wau-balang kites are seen at aerial war in Ahmedabad. There are more to discover on the blue bed…….500 kites strung with a single thread. It is a spectacular extravaganza never to miss for those in Ahmadabad during this festive occasion. There are hand-painted kites, sports kites, dragon kites and many more varieties which are hard to take your eyes off.