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Uttarayan

 
Kite Festival Kite Festival Kite Festival Kite Festival Kite Festival

The festival of Uttarayan is a uniquely Gujarati phenomenon, when the skies over most cities of the state fill with kites from before dawn until well after dark. The festival marks the days in the Hindu calendar when winter begins turning to summer, known as Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan. On what is usually a bright warm sunny day with brisk breezes to lift the kites aloft, across the state almost all normal activity is shut down and everyone takes to the rooftops and roadways to fly kites and compete with their neighbors.

Coinciding with the Makar Sankranti celebrations, Gujarat's International Kite Festival is held every year in Amdavad. As you've probably guessed, this is one day when the skies above the city come alive with kites in a hundred different colours, shapes and sizes, fluttering and darting above the rooftops, triumphantly cutting another kite's string, and soaring way up above the earth. The Gujarat Tourism Development Corporation organises the International Kite Festival at a local stadium, where kite enthusiasts from all across the world show off their skills. A kite market is held, alongside which are food stalls, cultural performances and special kite displays at night, when illuminated kites known as tukals are flown.

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