Uttarayan Kite Festival, India
January 14 is by far the most colourful date in the festive year in Gujarat . It's said to be the day when the wind changes direction (uttara = north, yana = to go) indicating winter's retreat. Some believe that the gods, who hibernate throughout winter, awake at this time. Although it has Hindu roots, the festival colourfully cuts across social divisions of religion, caste and wealth.

All over Gujarat people fly patang (kites) on coloured string (manja) that has been coated in a paste of rice and ground glass which enables flyers to play-fight by cutting and catching each others kites.

Here you can read my interview for the Guardian Weekly on Uttarayan 2008. Also check out my post about the soon to be released film Patang by Prashant Bhargava.
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