In India, kite flying is more than a pastime or sport. It is a fiercely competitive national obsession.

On January 14th, the city of Ahmedabad is possessed by the spirit of Uttarayan, the largest kite festival in India. According to the Hindu calendar, it is the day fondly known as the day the wind direction changes.

Four million kites are stacked and sold. At sunrise, rich and poor, Hindu and Muslim, young and old, flood their rooftops battling to cut their neighbor's kite. Amidst the sighs of defeat and the screams of victory all eyes are fixed on the vibrant spectacle above.

Once the sun sets the trees are littered with a million fallen kites. Serious kite fliers begin their final competition launching lanterns (tukkals) attached to their kite strings. With fireworks flooding the skies this marks the end of the festival.

Kites are over one thousand years old in India. The poet Manzan used the word "patang", the more common word for kite, in his poem of 1542 A.D.