In the month of January every year, the sky of Gujarat is filled with vibrant colored kites of all different shapes and sizes making it an eye-catching view that is blissful to eyes. The atmosphere of cities turns joyful and full of energy and enthusiasm. People stay on their rooftops with some music to enjoy and defeat the kite of their neighbors. Even in the night, the celebration is ongoing with lanterns in the sky making it a view alike of shining stars.
Uttarayan is considered as one of the biggest celebration in Gujarat and even homes in Gujarat began to create kites for the Kite Festival months before the festival starts. According to the Hindu calendar, the festival of Uttarayan marks the day when winter begins to turn into summer. It is the sign for farmers that now the season has come for them to harvest as the sun is back for them again, and is called Makar Sankranti. Many states organize kite competition where the people compete with each other with their beautiful kites.
There are many legends associated with this single day. Be it legend related to Lord Shiva, or some consider to be related to Lord Vishnu, some to Maharaj Bhagirat who brought the Ganges to Earth. One of these legends is of Sun God who is believed to visit Shani(Saturn) who is Son of Sun. Shani and Sun do not share a good relation, however, it is Shani’s responsibility to take care of his father.
The largest city of Gujarat, Ahmedabad has hosted the International Kite Festival as part of the official celebration of Uttarayan Since 1989, bringing to the city the master kite makers and kite flyers from all over the world to demonstrate their unique creations and amaze the crowds with highly unusual kites. In past few years, different kite masters from different countries have bought their best kites for this Kite Festival. Malaysia brought wau-balang kites, llayang-ll yang from Indonesia, USA arrived with giant banner kites, and Japanese fighting kites rokkaku has shared the skies with Italian sculptural kites, Chinese flying dragons, and the latest high-tech modern wonders. A master kite maker and famous kite flyer Rasulbhai Rahimbhai of Ahmedabad trains of up to 500 kites on a single string have come to be a classic attraction. Over Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad, almost every known variety of kite can be seen in the skies.