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India’s Massive Kite Festival

Jun 22, 2019 | ESCAPE, India

by MJ Toledo

City on the Roof, Ahmedabad, India | Sandeepachetan

Uttarayan is an annual International kite flying festival in Gujarat where giant  kites shaped like mermaids, horses, and even footballs take over the sky

Have you seen a flying mermaid? It turns out, you only need a ticket to India to witness the rare sight. The Uttarayan festival is an eight-day festival where amazing kites shaped as objects and animals fly in the sky.

This year marks the third decade of the festival which is participated by over 120,000 kite makers from India.  Participants prepare for the festival months before the event. 

Kite Festival

Kite Festival – Modhera Village India – Kaushik Patel

The festival shakes Asia news every January. This month marks the beginning of the Hindu calendar’s summer. It signals farmers that the sun is back and they need to prepare for the harvest season.

Sankranti - India

Sankranti – India – Rajesh Pamnani

 

Families and friends gather on their rooftops to watch the gigantic kites take over the sky. Indians see the festival as an opportunity to discard all the bad things that happened in the past season and welcome a new one.

Uttarayan is not the only kite-flying festival in the country. The Punjab region takes pride in Basant Panchami Kite Flying Festival. Here, a myriad of skilled kite flyers release their fancy and gigantic kites into the sky and attempt to cut others.

International Kite Festival

International Kite Festival | Nisarg Lakhmani

 

The giant kite fight is witnessed by thousands of people, and won’t end until one kite reigns supreme. The judges also determine the best and biggest kite.

Additionally, in the capital city of Delhi, kites are also flown near Palika Bazaar at the Connaught Place. This celebration is witnessed by thousands of people from all over the globe and features various shapes, colors, and sizes of kites.  There are also different prizes and awards given out during this event.

Aside from signaling the start of summer, kites are also flown in India during Independence Day. This tradition started in 1927 when Indians flew kites which contain the message “Go Back Simon.” Since then, what used to be a protest has become a way to celebrate independence from British rule. 

In the evening, the kite festival will turn into a full-blown lantern festival, it is truly magical.

Sakranti at Night - Ahmedabad, India

Sakranti at Night – Ahmedabad, India – Bhavishya Goel