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How is Uttarayan – the kite flying festival – celebrated in India?

Uttarayan is also known as kite flying festival in Gujarat. It is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm in the state of Gujarat. The festival is known as Makar Sankranti in the north. It’s called Pongal in South India. It falls on January 14th every year and kite flying is an important part of this festival. International Kite Flying festival takes place in Gujarat where participants from all over the world come and fly different types of fancy and attractive kites. The International Kite Flying festival is a major tourist attraction where exotic kites are flown in the sky all the day long. There are kites of different sizes and shapes available at all the places in the state. Competitions are organized at various places and the sky is full of colourful kites.

People in Gujarat are seen on their terraces from morning to evening as they fly kites and spend time with their near and dear ones. From kids to adults, people get involved in kite flying and often shout “Kai Po Che” when they string the other people’s kites. The idea of this sport is to cut other person’s kite by bringing them down so that yours stays the longest. People of all the age groups have a lot of fun while flying kites.

Months before the festival, you would see kites and threads (manja) being produced at several places. Ahmedabad city has a special kite market called Patang Bazaar, which is open 24 hours a day so that kite lovers can stock up for Uttarayan. Magical sight is seen in Ahmedabad, Surat, Navsari, Vadodara, Mehsana, Jamnagar, and more.

Food is an important part of every festival in India. A special winter vegetable called Undhiyu is the speciality of this day. Other delicacies such as laddoos, jalebis, chikki, and surati jamun are also enjoyed by the people as they gather on the rooftop and spend time with their loved ones. Social gatherings are a major attraction of this festival. Entire families gather together on terraces and grounds to fly kites.

Even after the sky turns dark, the excitement among the people continues. Late in the evening when the sun sets, sky lanterns (called tukkals) are released in the sky. Paper lamps lighten up the sky and you would enjoy watching floating lights in the dark sky. Just sit back and enjoy the radiant atmosphere during this festival. If you have friends in India and you want to send them some gifts this Uttarayan, you can choose Indian handicrafts online and make them feel special.