The Pink City of Jaipur, in Rajasthan, transforms into ‘the city of colours” in January, every year. The skies come alive with vivid colours and shapes, cries of joy and laughter fill the air, and the Pink City becomes the perfect backdrop for an assortment of hand-flown kites.
Beginning on the 14th of January, the Kite Flying Festival is celebrated with much pomp and ado for a duration of three days. The International Kite Festival at Jaipur is a call to the world to come to experience India’s rich culture and tradition. The festival attracts people from far and wide, belonging to all religions, cultures, and ethnicities. The celebration also marks the changing of the zodiac from Sagittarius to Capricorn, and the changing of seasons. The Sun God is worshipped, and the revelers follow a series of rituals, which include taking a dip in the holy waters of the Galtaji river. Prayers are offered to ensure a good crop, favorable weather, prosperity, and good health. It is believed that during this day, the Sun God shines down benevolently and replenishes the state of Rajasthan.
The Kite Festival draws kite flying lovers and enthusiasts and photographers from all over the world, who travel to India, eager to participate and experience this extraordinary celebration of colours, tradition, culture, and modernity. The shapes, sizes, and colours of the kites change each year, in tune with popular culture, current fads, and global trends.
The people of Jaipur celebrate with bright kites of all shapes and sizes, trying to fly as high as possible, with families and friends forming teams to participate in the kite flying competition. The highlight is the light strung kites which go up, flying high among the stars, shining down upon Jaipur, lighting up the night sky.
The final day of the festival is held at the Umaid Bhawan Palace, where awards for the competition are handed out by Rajasthani royalty, signaling a befitting end for this vibrant festival.
While the Kite Festival celebrates the spirit of Rajasthan, it also offers a great opportunity to experience Jaipur. The city is a must visit for its illustrious history, rich culture and scenic vistas, and undoubtedly, the legendary Kite Festival!