The Festival of Kite Flying (UTTARAYAN) in Ahmedabad
14th January of every year is celebrated as kite flying festival in many parts of India and Ahmedabad is in the fore front of this festival. The environment is electric with almost the entire city of 5 million grabbing every possible high point atop multi storied apartments, water tanks to fly kites and indulge in Kite fights.
Though kites are flown the entire day the best is reserved for the evenings. ENtire families are on top of buildings and the otherwise burstling streets wear a deserted look. There is loud music backed by the shouts of family and friends to pep up the kite fighters. It is a multi million dollar industry with shops selling special sharp strings and designer kites to feed the huge appetite of Ahmedabad's residents to fly kites. One family might end up flying almost 100 kites during the course of the day.
For one day the city is full of millions of kite runners with kits, adults alike run the streets catching the fallen kites that are flown on the next day January 15th.
Rooftops, a sea of humanity, chants, music, colour, passion are some of the words; combined together signify the kite fighters and runners of Ahmedabad. The real festival is not a public function for a select few but the carnival is crafted on every rooftop and is very democratic in nature; Everyone is invited to festivities and all the citizens are the invitees also.