Uttarayan – International Kite Festival in Gujarat, India

Here’s a fun idea for a family activity … make a kite together! Every year millions of people in cities all over Gujarat, India celebrate the International Kite Festival. This festival marks the end of winter and the coming of summer based on the Hindu calendar. It is usually celebrated January 14th and 15th. People of all different beliefs celebrate this festival together.

There are organized kite competitions, with some very fierce competitors trying to battle it out and break each other’s strings. The strings of the most competitive are prepared by tying them between trees. Glass bangle bracelets are broken into very fine pieces of glass and attached to the string with a special glue. The glass-covered strings, when rubbed on a competitor’s string in the sky, cause them to break. This eliminates the competition.

I don’t recommend that you use glue and glass on your string. 🙂 Just get some lightweight sticks, string, a glue stick or tape, and some tissue paper. You can look up tutorials on how to make a kite online or just wing it and invent your own. Let your kids decorate it with stickers or draw on it. Whether these kites ever actually fly is not important… just have fun and use the time making them to talk about people in other places, like India.

Need some information about India?

  • India is a country with tons of diversity in cultures, regions, and religions. For a book with fun pictures for kids, check out I is for India by Prodeepta Das.
  • If you want more information on culture, languages, and religious beliefs, you can check out Operation World by Jason Mandryk. This book gives parents some great ideas about how to pray for India.
  • Want a historical true story of a missionary to India? Check out books about Amy Carmichael or William Carey. You might even be able to find these at your local church or public library!

Quick ideas for prayer and conversation:

  1. Pray that religious freedom is continued to be allowed and that laws are not passed or upheld that would punish those who want to convert.
  2. Many languages in India still do not have the Bible in their language.
  3. Pray for the safety of missionaries that live in India. Also, pray that they are allowed to stay and work in that country.


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