Jaipur Kite Festival, held in Jaipur, Rajasthan is also famous as the 'International Kite Festival of Jaipur' or 'Desert Kite Festival' and is characterised by the ceremonial flying of numerous kites of various shapes, sizes and textures. This colourful Indian festival is generally celebrated on the 14th January, during the auspicious occasion of 'Makar Sankranti' or 'Uttarayan', in reverence of the transition of the sun who makes a transit to 'Makara Rashi' or Capricorn from 'Dhanu Rashi' or Sagittarius. It is believed that it is on this exact day that the northward journey of the sun commences, in Makar Sankranti. The International Kite Festival of Jaipur has been observed in this portion of India since the last five years, and kites measuring as large as 1.5 km, have also been flown with gusto during this grand festive event. Jodhpur and Jaipur are the two main regions witnessing the festive fervour of this kite festival, and Jaipur Polo Ground is the common venue of this festival.
During the International Kite Festival, visitors and tourists enjoy a dip in the sacred waters of Galtaji, which is considered a significant pilgrimage spot in Rajasthan. Thereafter, prayers are offered to the Sun God or Lord Surya, who is said to bless His devotees with a good harvest, prosperity and good health. The sky brightens up with a riot of colours of the different varieties of kites flown, many of which are illuminated with beautiful lights. Caricatures of some politicians, attractive motifs, unique designs and colours, and also certain messages communicating social issues are painted on the surface of these kites, which are used in the International Kite Festival of Jaipur, which spans three days. Kite lovers belonging to various corners of the world are invited to participate in the many kite flying contests which are organised in this festival.
International Kite Festival of Jaipur is classified into two separate sections: the 'Kite War' and the 'Kite Flying Session'. The finals of the numerable kite competitions are held during the last day of the festival. Prizes are distributed amongst the winners during this very day at the grounds of the Umaid Bhawan Palace. Kites of wonderful shades like orange, green, pink, fushcia, ochre, indigo, blue, red and yellow are flown. The giant congregation of crowd and tourists assembled at the venue of this festive event join in the thrill with loud shouts of 'Woh Kata Hai', especially from the terraces of several local houses of Jaipur. Drums are beaten with enthusiasm as some kites belonging to the opponents of participants are struck down. The regional inhabitants of Jaipur indulge in the festive bonanza and welcome the Kite Festival of Jaipur with sweets like 'Feeni' or a special sweet dish made from fibres, 'Til ke Laddoo', 'Gajak' or 'sesame brittle', which is a famous sweet from Jaipur.
(Last Updated on : 13-01-2014)