January 14 – International Kite Day

Posted on January 14, 2017

Check out the colorful festival that is Uttarayan, or International Kite Day, in the Indian state of Gujarati!

It's not uncommon for kids to set their alarms hours earlier than usual to get outside, flying their kites, before dawn. That's because the wind in the pre-dawn hour is generally ideal for kite flying. 

Some communities take advantage of all the visitors to
have special shows of dancing and music.

So people start flying their kites while it is still dark, and they fly kites all day long, and many of them keep flying them until well after sunset! When it is dark, many people fly bright white kites and/or kites with strings of bright lanterns leading down to the rooftop.

In Gujarati, almost all normal activities are suspended while almost everybody goes to the rooftops or into the roadways to fly kites. People visit one another and eat special foods -- but, again, on terraces or rooftops, while somebody keeps the kites aloft.

The city of Ahmedabad attracts master kite builders who show off special unique kite designs and master kite fliers who impress the crowds with their skills. People come from all over the world, from Malaysia to Indonesia, from China to Japan, from Italy to the United States. 

Rasulbhai Rahimbhai is a master kite builder who strings along hundreds of kites on a single string! Crazy!

Also on this date:

(January 12 to February 24) Magh Mela in India

Plan ahead:

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