ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design

9. Kite Festival

many colorful kites

India love to fly kites. The Makara Sankranti Celebration (14th of January) welcomes the arrival of spring and the season of kites.
During Makara Sankranti streets and rooftops are flooded with people running around to join the war of kites, one of the most colorful celebration in India.


The game takes place in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Ahmedabad, Benares and most of the cities in the north. Nobody stays out, children and foreigners are welcome to join in flying a patang.


Patangs are the most common fighter kites in India: cheap and durable, they are crafted to be highly maneuverable and capable to endure strong winds.
These, in fact, are mandatory skills to stand a chance during the kite’s war.


To fly a patang you need plenty of line rolled up on a reel and a group of three people: the one holding the line, the one that rushes to make it soar and a third one to recover the kite that flow away. Make a child happy by gifting him/her with brand new line: the good one is costly, and much appreciated.


The kite’s war consists in keeping your fighter kites airborne as long as possible, and meanwhile cut the lines of your rivals. These lines are often made with glass coating to make it sharper and more resilient.


Kite’s flying is one of the favorite hobby in north India, and people there take it seriously. It is also medium of display for some specialized bazaar’s craftsmanship skills.


In India you learn to fly a kite at a very early age, and a ten-year-old can be very skilled already. Kite flying is considered as an art, and the tricks and secrets to master it are passed from a father to a child.


To make a patang fly, it is necessary to have instinct and concentration. Band-aided fingers drive the line to avoid getting cut. If you want to learn, be advised by children! They are always happy and proud to give you some tricks. And be patient: it is easier said than done!


Joining the kite party is a source of extreme joy. When all eyes gaze upward to follow those wondrous invisible lines, nobody cares if you are rich or poor, or if you come from a different ethnic group. Everything melts in the colors the sky is filled with.


Someone say that Chinese invented kites; some others say that it was invented by ancient Greeks. More important, India flies patangs since the ancient time.
In the old times, nawabs from Lucknow used to play with lines of precious metals to make the game more exclusive.
Jaipur’s maharaja established in XVII, the first kite’s manufactures. The oldest kite existing is 217 years-old, in possession of Baba Saheb, from Bareily.


Kite is a dream within everybody’s reach. A flight towards spring and the newfound warmth of the sun. After Makara Sankranti, kite parties go on in the next months (especially during the Independence Day, on the 15th of August).
Still not interested in flying kites? Look at this video and change your mind!

Image Credits:

 da Uttarayan Kite Festival by Meena Kadri

  Creative Commons License


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