INTERNATIONAL KITE FESTIVAL / UTTARAYAN
Gujarat is known for it’s Kite flying events for many years. Every year, the ‘International Kite Festival’ is being held at Gujarat on 14th Jan. It is organised by the ‘Tourism Corporation of Gujarat’.
From 1989 onwards, the event is regularly held at Ahmedabad (also known as the ‘Kite capital of Gujarat’). The festival is held from January 8 to January 14. The Kite flying festival usually takes place at the ‘Sabarmati riverfront’, Ashram Road in Ahmedabad. The Sabarmati river bank has the capacity to hold over 5,00,000 people at a single time. The festival exhibits the various kite-making traditions and draws participants from across the globe. ‘Patang Bazaar’ which is the most famous Kite market, is one of the major attractions of this festival. During the festive week, the market remains open throughout the day. There is also a Kite Museum which is located at Sanskar Kendra in Paldi area of Ahmedabad and it has numerous collection of unique kites. A traditional food festival of Gujarat also takes place during this kite festival, which offers sweets like the Undhiyu (a delicacy of vegetables), Jalebi, Til Ladoo and Chikki (sweet made from groundnuts and jaggery) for the visitors.
The belief behind the festival:
This festival coincides with the festival of ‘Makar Sankranti’. Makar Sankranti marks the gradual end of the winter season and signals the onset of summer. Farmers consider this festival auspicious, as it also suggests the beginning of the harvest season. Thus, this festival is a form of thanksgiving and a signal for merry-making.