International Kite festival day in Ahmedabad. Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti.
The Uttarayan of the festival is a unique Gujarati phenomenon, in which the skies over most cities in the state are filled with dragons from before sunrise. Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan, as it is known in the Hindu calendar, is the turning point of summer. On a bright, warm, sunny day with a fresh breeze to lift the kites up, almost every normal activity is stopped across the state and everyone drives to the rooftops and streets to climb kites and compete with their neighbors ,
All shapes and sizes of kites are flown, and the main competition is to cut the threads and lure the hang gliders into battle. For this, people will find their favorite kite builders, who produce strong, resilient dragon bodies with springy bamboo frames and dragon paper stretched to the right tension. Finally, the kites are attached to a manja spool (or firkin), with a special kite string coated with a mixture of glue and glass to be as sharp as possible. The production of kites and kite accessories takes place in Ahmedabad in early November and now more than ever in Patang Bazaar, the special kite market that appears in the old town. In the week before the festival, it is open to all kite lovers around the clock so that they can stock up on festivals.
Parents, whose children will find it difficult to get up, will raise an alarm at 5:00 a.m. at school on January 14 to get up and start hang gliding in ideal winds before dawn. The atmosphere is wonderfully festive, like a whole family gathering on the roof, specialties like Laddu, Undhiyu or Surti Jamun prepared for the day of the meal, and a group of hang-gliding fun for friends and neighbors. Hang gliding and many gather there for an optimal terrace. Many social gatherings that would not otherwise take place, like the friends of a brother of a person who meet the cousins of their classmate because they all have the same mutual friend on the roof. People often find that they mark the time with Uttarayan: “I met you three Uttarayan, right?” Is a not uncommon phrase. At night, dragon hunters send bright white kites to see them in the dark, and seasoned aviators send their tukkals in a long row up to the roof with brightly lit lanterns. From early morning until late at night, Uttarayan offers a lot of fun and beautiful sights to remember.
Since 1989 the city of Ahmedabad has been hosting the International Kite Festival, which is part of the official celebration of Uttarayan, the most extraordinary kites with their unique creations and enthusiastic spectators from all over the world. In recent years, the kite masters have brought their Wau Balang kites from Malaysia, the giant banner kites from the USA, the kite innovators from the USA and the Japanese sculpture kites with them Chinese flying kites and the latest high-tech wonders of the world modern. A kite maker and renowned hang glider Rasulbhai Rahimbhai from Ahmedabad trains up to 500 kites to have a single string.