Uttarayan, as Makara Sankranti is called in Gujarati, is a major festival in the state of Gujarat which lasts for two days.
14 January is Uttarayan and 15 January is Vasi-Uttarayan (Stale Uttarayan). Gujarati people keenly await this festival to fly kites, called ‘patang’.
Kites for Uttarayan are made of special light-weight paper and bamboo and are mostly rhombus shaped with central spine and a single bow. According to rough estimates, the kites and manja cottage industry in Gujarat is worth over Rs 500 crore. Khambhat is known for its distinct kites whereas Surat is known for its manja.
Ahmedabad hosted India’s first International Kite Festival in 1989 at the Shahibaug police stadium. The chief guest was Edmund Hillary, the first to conquer Mount Everest with Tenzing Norgay.
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