Makar sankranti is also known as kites day.It is celebrated on 14th january of every year.It is the day when according to the Hindu astronomy the sun enters the rashi (zodiac) of Makara (Capricorn).People surrender themselves to the joy of kite flying.Kite flying starts at dawn and continues without a pause throughout the day. Friends, neighbours and total strangers' battle one another for supremacy and cries of triumph rend the air when someone cuts the line of a rival.
A tremendous variety of kites is seen and the connoisseur can choose precisely what he wants. Experts specially prepare even the lines with which the kites are flown before the great day. The sky-since morning to evening-remains dotted with vivid splashes of colour. The excitement does not end with nightfall, which is the time for illuminated box kites, often in a series strung on one line, to be launched into the sky. Called "tukkals", they add a touch of splendour to the dark sky.
The International Kite Festival is always held at Ahmedabad on January 14, to coincide with the festival of Makar Sankranti. It is a joyous day, with a bright sun, clear skies and breezes strong enough to lift innumerable kites aloft. It is in fact a celebration to mark the end of winter, when the heat of summer is still to come. Kites are flown all over Gujarat, and Ahmedabad and Baroda become cities of kite-flyers, when all other work is forgotten and cares are put aside for the morrow. Besides the primary kite flying, the participants and spectators at the festival can also enjoy the cuisine and the crafts of the state.
It is celebrated all over Gujarat but the excitement runs highest at Ahmedabad, Surat (known particularly for the strong string which is made by applying glass powder on the row thread to provide it a cutting edge) Nadiad and Vadodara. To be in any one of these places during this festival is to feel the heart and pulse of Gujarat and its people.