The kite festivals have been a huge part of the tradition and heritage of Kolkata as far as anyone can remember. For the people of Kolkata, there was nothing that could quite compare to the thrill of watching your kite soar along with everyone else’s as you tried to sever your opponents’ kites and take them out. Children and adults alike would partake in this incredibly competitive sport. The sky became a battle arena where brilliant colors would collide and the people below would shout and scream in exultation.
Kolkata: a trip down memory lane
In the past, the skies of Kolkata would be dotted with decorative paper kites floating in the wind. The locals would fly kites on the day of Makar Sankranti and Vishwakarma Puja. It was more than just a ritual or a sport. To them, it was a way of celebrating whatever life had to offer.
It used to be a thrilling experience that would go on way past sunset, almost till night fell. To them, there was nothing quite as soothing as watching the vividly colored kites dance against a crimson red sky.
How were they made back in the day?
Some of the kites were made of high-quality tracing paper that is also known as “Australian” paper. Thick abrasive strings coated with glass that was crushed to a fine powder and used to cut down rival kites. These deadly strings were called Manja. Some even went as far as using copper wires.
There were different kinds of kites in Kolkata such as Chowringhee (four different colors) and Petkatta ( two colors).
Volkatta: Reviving the tradition
The biggest kite festival in the east is called Vokatta. This originates from the phrase “Woh Katta“ which refers to cutting down an opponent’s kite. It is an international kite festival that first took place in year 2013 in Kolkata.
Needless to say, it was a huge success.
Every year, kite fliers from India as well as all around the world come to take part in this festival of kites. The afternoon skies are dotted with a variety of shapes and sizes and you can find kites featuring everything – from mesmerizing colors to cartoon characters.
There are amusement rides, carnivals and performances by music bands to add to the attraction. Besides, night shows featuring LED kites are a delight to watch as they adorn the sky.
In Vokatta, kites aren’t the only things that take to the sky
While kites are the main highlight of the event, it also features a variety of programs such as releasing hundreds of pigeons and thousands of air balloons into the sky.
Kites that damage the environment
The number of birds that have been wounded and fallen prey to the death trap caused by the use of illegal manja is devastating. Lately, the kite market has been dominated by plastic kites. They may be a lot cheaper but are extremely dangerous to the environment.
Thousands of people littering a beach or a park with plastic kites is not a pretty sight. It is even worse when you consider the effect these non-degradable kites have on the environment. In light of the recent amazon fires and the threat of climate change, this is quite alarming.
Priority numero uno: saving the earth
We, at FLY360, take an environmentally conscious approach to crafting kites that not only suit your needs but are also eco-friendly. You’d be amazed at the opportunities that a mix of bamboo, nylon and cornstarch can present to you.
We work hard to give you nothing but the best when it comes to your kite-flying experience.
When it comes to flying, do it with style
Specialized kites by the FLY360 kite designer team
Whether it is a stunt kite, perfect for breezing past the harsh city skyscape with tremendous ease or a personalized kite with a custom printed message you want to share with the rest of the world, we do our best to ensure that it isn’t just the kites, but your spirits too that soar.
Let’s paint the sky together!
We invite you to join us in our endeavors to broaden the horizon and paint it a dazzling splash of colors. We would be delighted for you to be a part of creating art as we turn the sky into our canvas and the kites into our palette of colors.
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