Celebrate Uttarayan, the International Kite Festival of India
In western India, the state of Gujarat hosts an international celebration that lights up the sky. It’s Uttarayan, the International Kite Festival!
During Uttarayan, which is celebrated on both January 14th and 15th, many cities in Gujarat organize kite competitions and people come from all over the world to fly their kites in the competition.
The main competition is between fierce kite flyers who battle to break their opponent’s kite strings and bring down their kite. A special kite string called manja is made with a combination of glue and glass made especially for cutting the kite strings of nearby rivals.
Make Your Own Kite
We’ll be going the decorative and festive route with our kites – no glue or glass kite strings here! Try out this fun and easy craft that helps you and the kids get outside for a few minutes to see your lovely kite in the sky. Or, if the weather’s uncooperative and you’re feeling competitive, why not have a kite beauty contest?
- Tissue paper, or lightweight patterned paper
- Wooden BBQ sticks
- Glue stick or transparent tape
- Small amount of tissue paper (for the decorative bows)
- Cross two wooden BBQ sticks into an X and tie it in the middle with a small piece of string.
- Cut a new piece of string, about 4 feet long.
- Tie one end to a pointed end of the X.
- Wrap the string around the pointed end several times to ensure tightness.
- Repeat wrapping string around pointed end until you’ve completed all points and you have a square frame.
- Now that you have your kite frame, cut out a piece of tissue or patterned paper that is about one inch larger than your kite frame all the way around.
- Fold the paper over each edge of strong and glue or tape shut. If you’re using glue, allow it to dry.
- Tie another long piece of string to one end of the kite frame. This is your kite’s tail.
- Using the small pieces of tissue or ribbon, tie decorative bows along your kite’s tail.