If you love flying kites, then this is the best time to visit Gujarat. Uttarayan, the International Kite Festival, is a three-day festival which commences on 12th January where the sight of colourful kites in the sky is worth beholding.
Uttarayan is a popular method of celebrating Makar Sankranti in Gujarat. It is one of the most awaited festivals of the state. People start their preparations much in advance. It is believed that Makar Sankranti marks the end of the winter season and the return of the Sun, thereby welcoming the harvest season.
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The festival is held in important cities of Gujarat. Skilled kite-makers from India and around the world participate in this festival. People enjoy every bit of the festival by indulging in kite fights with their friends and neighbours. The illuminated box kite is another major attraction which lights the nights during the International Kite Festival. In 2012, about 42 countries had participated in the festival! Gujarat specialties such as undhiyu and jalebis are served to people. The festival is celebrated throughout Gujarat, but the celebrations at Ahmedabad – the kite capital, are worth a watch.
Makar Sankranti is not just popular in Gujarat; in fact, the festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm in other parts of the country too.
Kite competitions are one of the major attractions of the festival. You will find kites in various shapes and sizes. However, kite flying and competitions are just one aspect of the festival. Various cultural programmes displaying the rich heritage of the country are also held.
The International Kite Festival is indeed a great festival which not only brings joy in the lives of people but also attracts tourism!