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International Kite Festival
Gujarat has been always vibrant with the International Kite Festival, which is celebrated with colors of joy. The Kite Festival indicates ‘Cultural Strength’ and like the kites, Gujarat soars high to touch the sky to be the ‘best in the world.’ Every year, Gujarat rejoices more than two thousand festivals. The International Kite Festival (Uttarayan) is regarded as the biggest festivals celebrated. Months before this special festival, homes in Gujarat begin to make kites for the festival.
The tradition of the International Kite Festival has been followed over generations. People of different ages go out in the open and celebrate it. This special festival is also considered to be the most important harvest day in India. During the Kite Festival, local foods such as Undhiyu (a mixed vegetable, including beans and yam), sesame seed brittle and a sweet dish Jalebi is relished.
Days before the International Kite Festival, the market is filled with crowds buying their supplies. Festivals such as Makar Sankranti and Basant usually complete with a game of kite flying. Rooftops and Terraces are used in places where fields are tough to find for playing this traditional sport. This specific festival is regarded as the change of season, marking the Sun movement into the northern hemisphere - a festivity to mark the end of winter. The cool breeze and clear blue skies provides a feeling of delight and joy to all who celebrate it.
India developed an age-old tradition of kite flying because of Nawabs and Kings, for whom the sport was both enjoyable and a way of showing their power. Kings and Nawabs used to recruit trained flyers to fly kites for them. Slowly, the art started becoming popular, and today it is enjoyed in forms such as this specific Kite Flying Festival. The world famous festival is held each year in important places of Gujarat and also various neighbouring cities. The festival draws skilled kite-makers and flyers not only from cities of India but also from all over the world.The most famous location for the Kite Festival is in Gujarat’s premier city named Ahmedabad. This festive celebration coincides with Makar Sankranti, and the folks of Gujarat celebrate this festival to signify the end of winter. In the year 2012, the Tourism Corporation mentioned that the Kite Festival was attempting to enter the Guinness World Records book because of the membership of 42 countries in it that year. The history of kite flying is attractively depicted in the Kite Museum, situated at Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
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