Kites are big business during Makar Sankranti. Since kite flying and fighting is such a well established tradition within the culture of India, this period of the year sees large sales of kites annually. The interesting fact is that sales tend to grow each year by ten to twenty per cent over the previous year.
While most of the kites made and sold during the holiday have been created in India, over the past two years there has been a trend towards imported kites from China made of non-traditional materials such as mylar and plastc. In addition to the new materials, new shapes and new designs are emerging in these imported kites. However, the traditional well made Indian fighter kite constructed of bamboo and tissue paper dominates both the skies and the sales.
From: newKerala.com - Jan. 1, 2006
Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Amitabh Bachchan sashaying in the clouds, Congress president Sonia Gandhi's airborne clashes with senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad's aerial dance will be a novel draw for kite enthusiasts.
Khan said Chinese kites too had arrived in the market. Though they were more attractive in shape and design, they were yet to gain popularity as the paper used to make them was of inferior quality.
Khan said the prices of kites ranged from 25 paise to Rs.25 and Jaipur alone accounted for up to Rs.650 million ($14.46 million) of business annually.
The kite trade is a round-the-year business in Rajasthan and people from various districts and states fly kites on several occasions, according to tradition, said Iqbal.
Iqbal expected business to be brisk this season, as the demand for kites was already high. "The interest in flying kites has not waned over the years as demand has been increasing by 20 percent every year," he said.
New style kites for Makar Sankranti will feature human-shaped kites with photographs of celebrities and politicians. The kites are all Indian made, reports the Mumbai Mirror in a special article about kites available during the 2006 Maksr Sankranti festival. A photo of the new style kites is also available on line.