Kite festival in Surat aka Uttarayan aka Makar Sankranti is quite famous. People here celebrate it for 2 days. There’s an interesting anecdote behind celebrating the kite festival for 2 days. A step further the people here have named it as vasi (stale) uttrayan.
The main festival day falls on every 14th of January. The next day is celebrated as a vasi (stale) utrayan. That’s interesting.
Like we said earlier, people here need a reason. If it is a celebration then why only for 1 day and why not for 2 days. If given a chance Surtis would celebrate the kite festival for 30 days, a full month. 30 times more fun and enjoyment.
Back to the topic – How do they celebrate this fun festival? What’s their day like on the 14th of January? What all they eat and drink? Let’s take a look at the kite festival in surat from a typical surti’s point of view.
The Kite Market in Surat
Needless to say that Dabkarwad is the biggest kite market here in Surat. It is located in the heart of the city near a prime location called Bhagal crossroads. Not only kite but the famous surti thread (manjho) is also sold here. The signature Surti thread (manjho) is famous across Gujarat and among the Gujarati community all over the world.
As the festival dates come close people go crazy buying kites, threads, accessories, and food. It’s a visual treat to see youngsters all over the street in the last minutes buying sunglasses, caps and even new clothes. That’s the spirit of the festival. Moreover, that’s the typical style of celebrating the kite festival in Surat.
Rander is quite famous for its variety of kites. It is believed that Randeri kites are of top quality. Apparently even Kabab and Khavsa are equally famous here. Hence, if you are fond of colorful kites of all size and shape then Randeri kites are the best deal.
Last minute shopping for randeri kites doesn’t work. The reason is all the latest designs and patterns are either sold out or out of stock. Hence you need to hurry up and purchase them in advance.
What does Surat eat on Makar Sankranti?
Festival is fun and it should actually be. But wait. . .
People in Surat are famous for taking festival fun to the next level. Yeah literally. And food plays an important role here. There’s a special recipe cooked on and around the day of the kite festival in Surat. It’s called the Undhiyu (mix veg sabzi).
In short, Undhiyu puri is the staple food on the day of Utrayan. However, in the night the city prefers to munch pav bhaji, Chinese, biryani, egg varieties, and other street foods.
Fast food items like Fafda, jalebi, Khaman, Locho and lot more mouth-watering foods are on the list.
FireWorks in the Night After Flying Kites
Seriously! Fireworks in Utrayan.
Surtis are unique and their style of celebrating the festival is different. The festival is all about flying kites, eating food, and have fun with family and friends. But the latest fade that seems to be trending for the last few years is to burst firecrackers in the night.
After yelling Kai Po Che all day long people starting lighting fireworks as the day comes down. However, they do on their terrace but something here is mismatched. It seems like Diwali in January.
DJ Dance & Fun
If it’s a fun time then there should be some dance moves. People are fond of dancing whether it is a wedding, Holi or kite festival in Surat. Each and every society, apartments, and private buildings are flooded with kitists shaking legs on the latest Bollywood songs. In addition, the DJs here get good business out of the kite festival in surat.
The DJs are booked in advance with amplifying speakers and the latest Bollywood track. People even enjoy playing Garba on their terrace once they are done with flying kites. It’s just 2 days but people of Surat digs maximum out of this festival.
They don’t leave any stone unturned to enjoy every moment of this festival.
Our Social Responsibilities
I totally agree with the fact that we must enjoy the Kite festival keeping aside our daily stress and worries. But we do have certain responsibilities towards others. By others here I mean birds and people riding bikes on the road.
What we can do is use less harmful threads (manjho). Threads having a large amount of powdered glass not only harm birds and other humans but also to an individual who is flying the kite.
Additionally, do not run on the roads or fly kites on the road. Festival will come again your life won’t. So be careful. If you see anyone injured with kite threads please take him/her to the nearest hospital. Do not fly kites early in the morning & late evening. It’s time for birds to fly for food and shelter.
Let’s not ruin someone’s life by being insensitive or irresponsible this year. Stay safe. Enjoy flying kites.
Checkout Images of the Kite Festival in Surat.