Hindu-Muslim celebration comes alive with kites

October 27th, 2011 - 6:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Oct 27 (IANS) Hundreds of kites fluttered over the Lucknow sky, particularly in the old city, as Hindus and Muslims joined hands to bring alive a legacy of the nawabs on the annual festival of Jamghat Thursday.

Kites shaped like butterflies, dragons, fish and birds dotted the skyline on the festival that falls a day after Diwali. Jamghat is also known as patangbaazi or kiteflying.

“For those of us in Old Lucknow, Jamghat is a festival that helps maintain social relationships,” Assad Ahmad, 64, a kite enthusiast and retired government employee in Aminabad locality, told IANS.

“The festival in a true sense reflects communal harmony as Hindus and Muslims come together to fly kites and exchange sweets,” he added.

In several localities, including Hussainganj, Batashey-wali-gali, Chaupatiya, Chowk, Daliganj and the banks of Gomti, kite enthusiasts formed teams and challenged each other to showcase their prowess and supremacy in the battle of the skies.

Besides the traditional kites, people opted for Chinese kites because of their attraction quotient. However, professionals preferred the “desi” ones.

“Chinese kites are mainly made of plastic sheets whereas Indian ones are made of paper. Chinese kites require windy conditions. The desi ones can be manoeuvred in almost all conditions,” said Mohd Usman, the owner of a kite shop in Hussainganj.

According to popular belief, Jamghat started off as a hobby when Lucknow was ruled by nawabs almost a century ago. It has become a tradition that has a large number of followers of different age groups.

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