The Ahmedabad International Festival is considered by many kiters to be the world's largest annual kite flying event.
Located in the state of Gujarat, Ahmedabad has a hot semi-arid climate with marginally less rain than required for a tropical savanna climate. There are three main seasons: summer, monsoon and winter. Aside from the monsoon season, the climate is extremely dry with mean monthly temperatures ranging from 20 degrees to 33 degrees Celsius throughout the year. January is the coolest month and the cultural festival of Uttarayana held on January 14-15 celebrates the movement of the sun to the north.
The Uttarayan festival traditionally features mass kite flying across the city. Young and old take their colourful patangs (kites) made from tissue paper and split bamboo and battle for supremacy above the streets of the city.
A thin cotton or hemp line is coated with a mixture of finely crushed glass and rice glue. In recent years, synthetic line has been coated with a variety of abrasives and stronger glue. Some instances of metallic lines have been reported in recent years.
The coated lines permit skilful fliers to cut one another's kites out of the sky. However, the fallen lines from cut kites can cause much harm to people who encounter them as they ride bicycles or motorcycles through the city streets.
The 2014 Ahmedabad Kite Festival has been beautifully captured in a video that shows the transition of the kite flying from daytime through to night. Traditional kite battles are replaced when darkens arrives by thousands of Chinese lantern balloons rising into the sky. This is one of the world's most sensational kiting events!