3rd International Kite festival concluded on republic day @ Golden Jublee Park, Delhi

Delhi Kite Festival took place at DDA Golden Jublee Park near Yamuna Old Iron Bridge in Delhi. The International Kite Festival was organized by Delhi Tourism from 24th Jan to 26th Jan and lot of kite flying experts joined the event from different parts of the world. This Photo Journey shares some of the moments from last day of the feastival which happened on Yamuna Bank.

This time, the venue of Kite Festival changed from India gate to a new park on the bank of Yamuna River. Probably because of republic Day celebrations on Rajpath. Last year, the festival took place in December month. If you have missed Kite Festival last year, you may want to check out - http://phototravelings.blogspot.com/2012/12/delhis-international-kite-flying.html

Some of the main features of Delhi Kite Festival were - Kite Flying, Theme Pavilian, Participation by National & International Kite flyers, Kite Trail (over hundred kites on one string), Night Kite Flying and Daily Cultural Programs during evenings. The festival is not only about sale of Kites or kite flying, but also about other entertaining things like puppet shows, shopping and eating out snacks from different states of India.

Brochures used for the Kite festival this year was exactly same as Delhi Tourism used last year, with few basic changes like no message from Chief Minister. Broucher of Delhi Kite Festival can be seen at - http://www.delhitourism.gov.in/delhitourism/pdf/kf.pdf

And don't miss the last page having a photograph of Humayun's Tomb, clicked last year.

For the first time in November 2011, the skies over India Gate in Delhi were painted in rainbow colours and decorated with myriad shapes. Kites in all shapes and sizes took over the sky and brought the city to life. The first ever Kite-Flying Festival in Delhi had opened to an overwhelming response by participants and spectators. 

People of all ages, families, couples, and children gathered around in the lush grounds near India Gate and witnessed the unfolding of this event with awe.  It was as if Delhi had been waiting for such an event for ages.   

None of the events lacked participation. From kite flying to kite fighting to other cultural events, all were teeming with participants and spectators.  The atmosphere was charged up and spirits as high as a kite can go, encouraging us to consider the possibility of holding this festival every year.

“I believe I can fly, I I believe I can touch the sky”  ~R. Kelly

Ever since the beginning of human existence, the obsession with the sky has led to inventions after inventions to help us in our bid to conquer the sky. And it was because of this fascination that our ancestors flew the first kites. 

Each movement of a kite while it’s on a flight inspires poetry. Our hearts dive when it plunges and when it soars through the sky and achieves heights we can never hope to achieve owing to our human limitations, our spirit flies with it. A kite embodies human desires and it is no wonder then that it symbolizes freedom, joy, prosperity, fortune, and all things good to us. 

Kite flying has been an age-old tradition in India but now with the intrusion of technology and social media, sports like kite-flying has started retreating into the shadows. Kite Festivals, held from time to time, in different parts of the country are amongst some of the initiatives to celebrate and revive this fading sport. 

Kites have been a part of our tradition since ancient times and even today they are flown to celebrate various festivals and sentiments. Culturally, for Indians, Kites represent everything that is good – happiness, prosperity, freedom, and peace.

Makar Sankranti, the festival that celebrates the movement of the sun into the Northern Hemisphere, is all about flying kites. On this day, especially in Gujarat and Rajasthan, families flock on terraces and indulge in kite flying and fighting from sunrise to sunset and even beyond that. Basant Panchami is another festival on which kite-flying is common.

In Delhi, kites are flown on the Independence Day to celebrate freedom. Tricolors are the most popular kites to be flown on this day. According to Bhai Mian, the man who can rightfully be termed as one of the Godfathers’ of the art of Kite making and flying in Delhi, kites are still flown daily in Old Delhi. He also rubbishes all claims that the tradition is fading. According to him, children are as enthusiastic about kites as they used to be during his youth. 

Kite Flying is a popular sport in the whole of Asia. In Afghanistan , kite flying suffered till some years back when it was banned. However, now the sport is slowly reviving. In Pakistan, it often transforms into Kite Fighting and is especially popular during the spring. China, often thought to be the birthplace of kite flying, also houses Weifang, the kite flying capital of the world. China also boasts of the largest kite museum in the world.

In Europe, Kite Flying is a part of the culture in Greek and Cyprus. Kites of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda hold world records for altitude and duration. In some countries of South America, the traditions are surprisingly close to those in India. Kites are flown on Independence Day in Chile.  In Guyana, they’re flown around Easter. 

All over the world, kite festivals welcome international participation. Several of these festivals have been around for some years while new ones are cropping up every year. It seems the entire world is awakening to the charm of kites now.

(Some details shared on this blog are picked from Delhi Tourism Kite festival broucher, written by VIbha Malhotra) 

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