International Kite Festival is one of the most colorful festivals of Rajasthan which provides unlimited fun and frolic. The popularity of the International Kite Festival in Jaipur is such that it attracts kite fliers from far off corners of the country. The thrill and excitement lingers in the air and everyone is enchanted.
Rajasthan celebrates the Kite festival or Makar Sankranti on 14th January every year. It also heralds the sun’s movement towards the North. The Uttarayan depicts the sun’s shift from the sign of Sagittarius (dhanu rashi) to Capricorn (makar rashi).
Though there isn’t much of a religious background to the Kite festival, kite flying on this day has become a custom. It marks the end of the winter season and the advent of warmer winds!
Rajasthan’s actual heritage lies in the making of kites. Sincere artisans work hard on making kites and the long thread attached to it since many years. It is only this time of the year where they sell in huge quantities, different types of kites with various messages written on them, or in myriad shapes, diverse colours or patterns too!
The three day merriment takes off with gala and fervor. The International Kite festival attracts kite lovers from the entire globe to participate in the contest. The more the kites, the more the joy, excitement and adventure in the city! To add to the fun, the Force helicopters aerially release kites from above and even school children throw balloons in the air to multiply the colors in the sky!
There are two sections to the competition: The ‘Fighter Kite’ contest and ‘Display Flying’. Where the former contest focuses on showcasing their skills through a nail-biting and intense competition to win, the latter is more of exhibiting their colourful and attractive kites through their exuberance. Every day sees prizes distributed and winners awarded special dinners.
The Kite festival is inaugurated at the Jaipur Polo Ground. The last day of celebration and the prize distribution too is held after three days, at the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur.
KITE FESTIVAL TOUR
Take a round across the city of Jaipur and Jodhpur during these three days and what one would witness is myriad kites of different hues highlighting the sky. The flying of a kite, however simple it may seem, depends on the wind’s movement and is hence, unpredictable. People are seen taking sides, cheering for their favourite side to win! Giving them company are the drum beats, picking up their sticks when a kite goes down. Kites are cut down and some continue to sail high in the sky! The ecstasy and determination is all there. All kite flyers have an enemy! One keeps cutting the other’s kite till the very end. One can hear people shout, “Woh Kata Hai”, indicating that a kite is cut down!
Sweets and savouries are another part of this festival. Til Laddu, Gajak and Papdi are some of the delicacies prepared by the women in the house on this occasion. People visit each other’s houses and share the happiness and joy.
DATE and VENUE
International Kite Festival Jaipur 2018 will be celebrated for 3 days. The festival kick starts on 14th January at the Jaipur Polo Ground and the grandeur ends with a Finale of the two contests being held at Umaid Bhawan Palace extant lawns in Jodhpur on 16th January.
INTERNATIONAL KITE FESTIVAL 2018, RAJASTHAN
Kick starts on 14th January 2018 at the Jaipur Polo Ground
Concludes on 16th January 2018 at Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur