The festival is held on the day of Makar Sankranti, i.e., 14th January every year at Jodhpur in Rajasthan and Ahmedabad in Gujarat. Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan is Hindu festival that is observed to mark the end of the chilly months of winters with the movement of sun into the northern hemisphere. This is the season when the skies are clear and the breeze seems pleasant making every body in a jubilant mood.
Ahmedabad In Gujarat, Makar Sankranti is celebrated as the kite-flying day. Kite-flying day in Gujarat is an extraordinary day, unlike at other places. Ahmedabad, Gujarat's premier city, leads the way in the celebration of Uttarayani, and is the venue of the International Kite Festival.The International Kite Flying Festival in Ahmedabad begins with the break of the dawn and continues all through the day without and intervals or breaks. The enthusiasm of the people is worth noting as they compete with each other in kite flying and shouting in excitement. The same passion continues even after dusk and nightfall when illuminated box kites can be seen in the sky. They can be found in series strung in on line and are known ad 'Tukkals'. Local kite flying festivals are held in other cities as well but International Kite Festival in Ahmedabad witnesses a large gathering of participants and observers from all over Indian and world. If you want to quench you curiosity about the history o kites and kite flying, you can learn all this and much more at the Museum in Ahmedabad, which very concisely yet colorfully traced the history of kites and beginning of kite flying. From dawn to dusk, people of all ages fly kites rejoicing in the spirit of the day. The blue January sky is enlivened by kites of different colours and hues. Kites soar in the sky, their lines moving as if alive. Crowded rooftops, fun-loving rivalry to outdo each other, and delicious Gujarati feast are the hall-marks of the day. A tremendous variety of kites are seen with friends, neighbours and total strangers indulging in kite fights. The nights see the arrival of the illuminated box kites, often in a series strung on one line, to be launched into the sky. Known as Tukkals, these kites add a touch of splendour to the dark sky.
Jodhpur The three-day International Kite Flying Festival in Jodhpur is held at the Polo Ground. The sky looks absolutely beautiful with kites in myriad hues, designs and shapes of the kites being flown in the air. The Air Force helicopters release colorful kites from the sky while school children release colorful air balloons. The festival is divided into two sections, namely, the Fighter Kite Competition and the Display Flying. The kite flyers compete with each other displaying their skills in order to win the Fighter Kite Competition while the other calmly fly the kite exhibiting their beautiful kites for the Display Flying. The prestigious trophies are awarded to the winners of both the categories and every participant is offered dinner at an exotic venue. The Grand Finale of the International kite Flying Festival in Jodhpur is held in the extant lawns of the Umaid Bhawan Palace. The finals of the Fighter Kite competition and Display Flying are followed by the prize distribution ceremony, thanks-giving ceremony and farewell dinner with the Maharaja of Jodhpur. The festival is attended and participated by a large number of people from India and abroad.