Gujarat’s Kite Festival ’16: grand and colorful

Festivals have become a key element of Gujarat’s socio-economic and cultural life. One of the many big festivals that Gujarat celebrates every year is The International Kite Festival.

This year also Gujarat celebrated Kite festival with much fanfare and spectacle. This year also the colorful celebration of International Kite Festival attracted a lot of people from across the world. The International Kite Festival coinciding with Makar Sankranti, was off to a flying start on the right bank of River Sabarmati on 8th January with Gujarat Governor O. P. Kohli presiding over the function and Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel inaugurating the show. The Sabarmati Riverfront is one of the important spot in Ahmedabad where people gather to fly kites or to see thousands of colorful kites flying in the sky.

The Government of Gujarat has actively been involved in promoting, marketing and organizing the state’s festivals including kite festival.

A clear sky, mild breeze with nip in the air provided a perfect setting for thousands of spectators to cheer kitists from 31 countries, from twenty seven Indian states and the rest from Gujarat flying kites of different size and shape and myriad colours.

Speaking on the occasion, O. P. Kohli described the festival as a unique experience to watch artistic kites soar high in the sky, taking the glorious culture of Gujarat to greater heights. He said the sports going back to ancient times represents man’s experiments with imaginations and reflects man’s tastes and culture.

The Governor extended a warm welcome to the participants, who will perform on the Riverfront of Ahmedabad. He said that kite festivals are now celebrated in other states along with Gujarat and Punjab as well.

Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel wished that the kite festival would help us realize our lofty goals and resolutions, and also catapult Gujarat to a proud place the international tourists’ circuit. Talking about the magnificence of Makar Sankranti, she said, the Sun’s movement from the Tropic of Capricorn to the north typifies our ancestors across the length and breadth of India invoking the solar energy for the welfare of the mankind. It is a festival to mark Man mingling with Nature.

Briefing about the role of the festival became the financial support for the poor-labour families CM Patel said that by adding women in the kite making cottage industry the gross business of the industry has been reached to Rs. 750 crore. She delighted on the occasion while public participation takes place in celebration of three festivals simultaneously at the riverfront; such as Flower Show, Sabarmati festival and the Kite Festival.

Both the Governor and Chief Minister earlier extended warm greetings to the people of Gujarat. The festival began with a colourful march past by the kitists and releasing huge bunches of colourful balloons in the sky. Patel praised about the children demonstrated the yogic feats like ‘Surya Namaskar’ at beginning of Kite festival and said that the awareness of the children regarding health and their trial to nurture worship to the sun is very good.

Minister of State for Tourism Department Jayesh Radadia said that the Kite Festival which has been organized by the Tourism Department of Gujarat is became center of attraction for Indian-foreign kitists. Makarsankranti is uniquely celebrated in Gujarat.

Gujarat’s Kite Festival also has an economic significance. It provides employment opportunities to many local people who, months before the festival, start manufacturing kites and many other things related to kite flying. During the festival Kite enthusiasts throng the local markets to buy kites. Patang Bazaar is one of the many famous Kite markets located in central Ahmedabad.

Visits of kite enthusiasts and tourists during the festival give boost economic activities in the state. Apart from economic significance, the kite festival also bring people particularly youth and children together to celebrate the festivals, which helps in enhancing social understating in the state.

The International Kite Event is organized every year in Ahmedabad in the month of January. The main venue to fly kites and enjoy festivals is the Sabarmati Riverfront. The festival attracts kitists and tourists from many parts of the world. Kitists participate in the festivals with their own kites. Each kite is incredibly different from other in color and design. Apart of Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s Kite Festival is celebrated in many other parts of the state. These include Vadodara, Rajkot and Surat. With its large capacity and strategic location, the Sabarmati Riverfront is the best spot to enjoy the kite festival.

It was an amazing experience for me to participate in this year’s Gujarat International Kite Festival and see the sky filled with colorful kites. It was breathtaking to witness such a big and exciting event. Government of Gujarat, tourism department of the state and local administration did a commendable job in organising the event. I also visited local markets and taste some delicious street foods.

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