Kite flying is a much-loved pastime in North India, but the residents of Jaipur have transformed it into an art form. On Makar Sankranti every year, kites of various sizes, shapes, and colours take over the skies of Jaipur. Preparations begin days and sometimes even months in advance. Kites in the most innovative and outrageous designs are crafted-recent years have seen kites in the shape of birds and dragons, one over a kilometer wide and even one resembling a stained glass window. The festival includes a ‘kite fight’, at which competitors try to cut each other’s strings with glass-coated lines.
Apart from this there is an extravagant ceremony, with Air Force helicopters releasing hundreds of kites and school kids releasing coloured balloons. And, like at any other Rajasthani festival, there is plenty of music and folk dance.