International Kite Festival of Ahmedabad
Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti, a festival that marks the end of winters and beginning of summers, according to the Hindu Calendar. In Ahmedabad, during this festival, an International Kite Festival is organised. It is among the most prominent festivals celebrated in Gujrat. The sky is filled with colourful kites, cut out in various shapes and sizes. Kite makers boast their creativity through unique designs and patterns. People from all over the world swarm like bees to participate and witness this festival. The local markets are cramped with kite buyers and sellers, weeks before the kite festival. The Patang Bazaar stays open 24 hours during this time.
The International Kite Festival commences on the day of Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti and goes on for up to 9 days.
There is no entry fee for visitors. But the kite flying area is open only to participants.
History of the Festival
Though flying kite has been a common hobby in India, it gained the title of competition during the Nawab periods. The Nawabs used kite flying competitions as an easy way to show their strengths, in an entertaining manner. It started as a friendly sport but soon took a very serious turn. Nawabs started ordering the making of special kites and threads, calling expert kite makers and flyers from across the globe to exhibit their skills and win all competitions. This tradition is still continued, now in the form of the International Kite Festival.
Major Attractions of the Event
Over 45 countries take part in the kite flying competition of the International Kite Festival. Kites designed unique patterns, colours shapes and sizes are flown in the competition. The participants are highly competitive, with great enthusiasm to win. The Manjha, the strings are also specially designed with glue and glass on its fibres. Kites with lanterns attached to the strings are also flown, these make a spectacular sight at night
Best Spots to Witness the Festival
According to the locals and tourists, the best spot to witness and enjoy the Kite Festival is the Sabarmati Riverfront. Another popular spot is the Ahmedabad Police Station.
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