International Kite Day begins every year on January 14 during Makar Sankranti and ends on January 15. Gujarat has declared the dates a public holiday so that people can join in the festivities. Kite makers start preparing for the festival months in advance. Markets are packed with kite aficionados and festival goers buying supplies days before the festivities.
History of International Kite Day
Originally, kite flying was a pastime reserved for royalty and the wealthy, but in recent years, it has evolved into a festival open to all, with participants hailing from Japan, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, China, Indonesia, Singapore, the United States, Malaysia, Australia, France, and Brazil.
International Kite Day originated in India, where it is most popularly observed in the city of Ahmedabad in the northern state of Gujarat. In Hindi, the festival is known as Uttarayan, while in other regions of India, it is known as Makar Sankranti.
It commemorates the transition from winter to summer, as well as the forthcoming winter crop harvest. People go from all over the world to participate in the festivities. The kites linked with the celebration represent the gods’ spirits waking from their winter slumber.
Simple kites made of lightweight colorful paper with bamboo frames are the most frequent. Aside from traditional kites, several feature Bollywood celebrities or social themes. Kite lines are frequently coated with a mixture of rice and crushed glass to aid in “kite fighting.” This is a game when kite fliers try to cut one another’s strings and knock down their kites during the festival.
During the day, acrobats perform, while at night, illuminated kites known as ‘tukkals’ fill the skies. The night sky is also lit up by fireworks. Although this is an Indian festival, Hindu temples in the United States frequently celebrate it, and because it is an inclusive celebration; anybody can participate.
International Kite Day timeline
It’s believed the kite is invented in China.
The popularity of kite flying in India peaks in Lucknow.
Benjamin Franklin demonstrates that lightning is electricity with the aid of a kite.
In 1989, the inaugural International Kite Festival was held, and individuals from all over the world came to show off their kites and flying skills.
International Kite Day FAQs
What does kite flying represent to Indians?
Kite flying has since become a custom for Indians during Independence Day to celebrate their independence from British rule. Apart from hoisting the national flag on August 15, Indians engage in kite flying as a symbol of independence, fun, and patriotism.
What is the world's largest kite?
The biggest kite was 83 feet seven inches long and 131 feet three inches broad.
How strong should the wind be to fly a kite?
Most kites are designed to fly in winds of four to 10 miles per hour. There is probably enough wind to fly if you can feel it on your face. Look for rustling leaves and waving flags. Another good way to measure the wind is to use a compass.
How to Celebrate International Kite Day
Attend the festival
If you enjoy traveling and have the opportunity to be in Gujarat on January 14 for the actual event, attending would be the greatest way to commemorate International Kite Day. It will undoubtedly be an unforgettable experience that you will remember for the rest of your life.
Get a kite and fly it!
Simply buying a kite and taking it to a nearby park to fly it is a fantastic way to celebrate. A breezy day spent with a kite in hand is an immensely enjoyable experience.
Learn or teach someone how to make kites
Learn and train to fly kites in the sky. Teach someone how to make and decorate kites.
5 Facts About Kites That Will Blow Your Mind
When the Wright brothers were developing the first airplane in the late 1800s, they studied kites.
180 hours is the world record for the longest kite fly.
Leaves were used to make the first kites, which were flown thousands of years ago.
Large kites were outlawed in East Germany due to the fear of people being lifted over the Berlin Wall.
During the American Civil War, kites were utilized to carry mail and newspapers.
Why We Love International Kite Day
Food lovers have a soft spot for this holiday. The festival's various food kiosks provide traditional Gujarati cuisine for travelers to sample.
It stimulates creativity
It is a creative outlet as people try to make beautiful kite designs. Different design possibilities leave no limit to your imagination.
Sharing and caring
We get to share the holiday with people all over the world. We have the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life through our shared passion for flying kites.
International Kite Day dates