Uttarayan is the name given to the festival celebrated between Makar Sankranti and Karka Sankranti. This Hindu festival is celebrated to mark the end of the chilly winter season and the beginning of the spring season. All over India, there is a great importance of the festival as it marks the day that signals the upcoming harvest season for the farmers. There are some places which ascend above others in the celebration of this festival. However, the enthusiasm is unmatched when other cities are compared to the state of Gujarat. The state celebrates the festival by hosting the International Kite Festival in Ahmedabad, which is quite famous all over the world. There is a wide range of sweet delicacies to satisfy the sweet tooth of the people who celebrate it, and other traditions like the Garba Dance are observed with great enthusiasm and energy as well.
Brief History of International Kite Festival
The first ever International Kite Festival in Ahmedabad was celebrated in January 1987. It was organized by the Government of Gujarat to boost tourism in the state. In 1987, there were just 25 participants, out of which 20 were international kite designers and flyers. In 1993, Fly360 was founded and the company started the trend of designer kites when the International Kite Festival in Ahmedabad had only 30 participants. They were the first in India to start the trend of designer kites.
Schedule of the International Kite Festival
The schedule for the International Kite Festival in Ahmedabad has remained the same ever since the first one in 1987. The festival is celebrated over a period of 5 days and the festival starts from 9 o’clock in the morning till 7 o’clock in the evening. During the hours that the festival is celebrated, lunch is the only meal that is provided on the ground in the form of food packages. However, breakfast and inner has to be done on your own either in a restaurant or in the hotel itself.
Day 1 and Day 2: Warming up for the Grand Flying
On the first day of the festival, all the participants are required to reach their respective hotels before the evening time since there is a gathering which takes place for all the participants. Dinner is served at the gathering and then all the participants are briefed in short about the festival. Each person gets a T-shirt which helps identify them in the crowds and they are also provided with passes for their entry into the grounds on the next day.
The second day marks the distribution of the national and international participants across different places in the state of Gujarat. This tradition has been observed for the past decade and people are distributed in places like Surat, Vadodara, Kutch, Someshwar, and Ahmedabad. The Government of Gujarat makes all the necessary arrangements for the transport of the participants from the city of Ahmedabad to all the different places that each group has been assigned. The living arrangements are also looked after by the state government in all the respective cities.
Day 3, 4 and 5: Flying, Flying, and Flying...And of course Media Extravaganza
On the third day, the participants reach the grounds and show their skill in flying the kites. The tradition of kite flying is kept alive by the people who participate in the festival. The flying of the kites is continued on the fourth day as well but it is done in Ahmedabad.
On the second last day of the International Kite Festival, the Chief Minister of Gujarat and many other high dignitaries of the state join in on the celebrations in Ahmedabad. There is a parade which is conducted by all the national and international participants.
The event is covered by major media channels and press reporters from all over the country. The fifth day aims at promoting the unity between the national and international participants alike, showing that when people come together for an event, there can always be a chance for peace and brotherhood.
The last day marks the ending of the festival, with all the participants heading back to their hometowns or other cities on their travel schedule. During the days when the kites are actually flown, a state-wide holiday is declared by the government.
What’s in store at the International Kite Festival
If you are looking for the biggest festival of kites, the International Kite Festival is the answer. Given the number of people that participate every year, it is quite evident that there would be a huge variety of kites as well.
You would find all possible types of kites here, from inflatables to parafoils, rokkakus to delta kites, box kites, diamond-shaped kites, sleds as well as traditional kites, the International Kite Festival has people flying all of them.
There are special designer kites created by the team of professional kite designer and flyers like Fly360 and handmade kites by people, which have become quite popular these days. The event is a visual treat for everyone, it is not necessary that you have to be a kite flyer to attend and enjoy the event.
Having said, the international kite festival would be great for expert flyers to meet with like-minded people and build connections. This is a great opportunity to build and grow a community of passionate Kite flyers in India and throughout the world.
Fly360 already has a group for all kite flying enthusiasts so that you can network, learn and collaborate. Please join the group through this link if you are interested.
You have to register first on the official website to experience the magic of the International Kite Festival in Ahmedabad. This is to ensure that there is a proper headcount of all the people that are participating in the festival. You also have to attach the images of the kites that you will be flying. Participating in the festival will give you a different perspective altogether of how the Indian festivals are celebrated. The event will go on for a week in January and you can indulge in the different activities like Garba Parties and enjoying the delicious Gujarati sweets that are specially prepared for the occasion.
If you need any assistance with regard to prepping up for the international kite festival in Ahmedabad, give the folks at FLY360 a visit.