With the onset of January, there are many festivals to look forward to. According to the Indian calendar, the day when winter begins to turn into summer and the farmer gets ready for the harvest season it is called Makara Sankranti or Uttarayan. It is a bright sunny day with brisk breezes ideal for the kites to soar in the skies. It is celebrated every year on 14th January.

The International Kite Festival (Uttarayan) is one of the biggest festivals celebrated in Gujarat, India. The kites are manufactured months before this festival at Patang Bazaar, the special kite market where you can get kites and kite supplies. The kite makers prepare a strong kite with springy bamboo frames and kite paper. This is then attached with a spool of manja (a kite-string that is coated with the mixture of glass and glue so that you could cut strings of rival kites.

Manja (the string with which kite is flown) Maker, Meena Kadri - http://www.flickr.com/photos/meanestindian/357930034/

Manja (the string with which kite is flown) Maker

 The International Kite Event takes place in Ahmedabad. The event is organised by Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited. You could enjoy this festival at its best from Sabarmati Riverfront where the sky is filled with thousands of kites. This festival is on 10th and 11th January. It is one of the most colourful festivals to be celebrated on the national and international level. There is fervor of humanity, celebration, vigor and excitement. It is a platform that allows people from all walks of life to come together and display their skills in flying.

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Kites are made from different materials like paper and cloth. There is an amazing collection on display from simple and fancy kites in all shapes and sizes. Kites also have social messages, awareness information in unique patterns and designs. Each kite is unique. Kites with geometric designs are a common sight. Kite flyers experiment with various things like string, kite shapes, sizes, and materials like paper, khadi, silk, fibre glass and polyester film.

International-Kite-Festival-2016-in-AHmedabad

Schedule of the event across Gujarat, India is as follows:

8th Jan 2016 – Surat, Rajkot

9th Jan 2016- Vadodara and Bhavnagar

10 and 11th – Sabarmati Riverfront, Ahmedabad

12th– Bhuj and Porbandar

13th -Modhera and Khambhat

14th– Pol, Ahmedabad

International Kite Flying -2016 will have around 100 participants from various countries like UK, Germany, Austria, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Singapore, USA, Canada, Thailand, Italy, Estonia, Cambodia, Netherland, Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine, Philippines, Vietnam, Argentina, China, Turkey, Brazil, Belgium, France, Nigeria, Poland and South Korea.

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Kite Masters and flyers from around the world showcase their unique creations and wow the crowds with their unusual kites. A few years back, kite makers from Malaysia brought their wau-balang kites, giant banner kites were bought by kite innovators of USA and Japanese rokkaku fighting kites shared space in the sky with sculptural kites from Italy and flying dragons from China.

If you are in Gujarat, India, in the month of January then do not miss out this festival.

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*/ PS. The above schedule is subject to change. /*

 

Image sources: indiatvnews.com

news.maffat.com

Meena Kadri