Kite festivals are a popular form of entertainment throughout
the world. They include small local events, traditional
festivals which have been held for hundreds of years and
major international festivals which bring in kite flyers
from overseas to display their unique art kites and demonstrate
the latest technical kites.
Asian Kite Festival
Kite festival is popular
in many Asian countries, where it often takes the form
of 'kite fighting', in which participants try to snag
each other's kites or cut other kites down.Fighter kites
are usually small, flat, flattened diamond-shaped kites
made of paper and bamboo. Tails are not used on fighter
kites so that agility and maneuverability are not compromised.
Kite festival in Afghanistan
In Afghanistan, kite flying is the most popular game
of Asia, and is known in Dari as Gudiparan Bazi. Some
kite fighters pass their strings through a mixture of
ground glass powder and glue. The resulting strings
are very abrasive and can sever the competitor's strings
more easily. The abrasive strings can also injure people.
During the Taliban rule in Afghanistan, kite festival
was banned, among various other recreations.
In Vietnam, kites are flown without tails. Instead small
flutes are attached allowing the wind to "hum"
a musical tune. There are other forms of sound-making
kites. In Bali, large bows are attached to the front
of the kites to make a deep throbbing vibration, and
in Malaysia row of gourds with sound-slots are used
to create a whistle as the kite flies.
Kite festival in India
The Indian festival of Makar Sankranti is devoted to
kite fighting in some states. This spring festival is
celebrated every January 15, with millions of people
flying kites all over northern India. The states of
Bihar, Jharkhand, Gujarat, some part of West Bengal,
Rajasthan, Punjab and the cities of Ahmedabad, Vadodara,
Jaipur, Dhanbad,Varansi and Hyderabad are particularly
notable for their kite fighting festivals. kite festival
in Hyderabad starts a month before the official kite
flying festival (Sankranthi). The thread used to fly
kites in Hyderabad is known as 'Manjaa'. Highly maneuverable
single-string paper and bamboo kites are flown from
the rooftops while using line friction in an attempt
to cut each other's kite lines, either by letting the
line loose at high speed or by pulling the line in a
fast and repeated manner. In some Indian cities kite
flying/fighting is an important part of other celebrations,
including Republic Day, Independence Day, Raksha Bandhan,
and Janmashtami. A international kite festival is held
every year before Uttarayan for 3 days in Ahmedabad.
In Gujarat, kite flying is most popular. The Vadodara,
Surat and Ahmedabad are the main cities where kite flying
is observed on the 14 and 15 January every year. The
14th known as 'Uttarayan' and 15th known as 'Vasi Uttarayan'.
People start flying kites early in the morning and continue
until the evening. Playing music to accompany kite-flying
is a common sight. The kite is known as 'Patang' in
Gujarat and other places in India. The kite flying with
Cotton Cords. Cotton cords has various brands like Chain
8, Genda 1,2,Panda etc. People start preparations before
15 days ahead to buy Kites and Cords.
festival in pakistan
In Pakistan, kite flying is a popular ritual for the
spring festival known as Basant. However, kite flying
is currently banned as some kite fliers engage in kite
battles by coating their strings with glass or shards
of metal, leading to injuries and death. Kite fighting
is a very popular sport in Pakistan, mainly centered
in Lahore. Kup, Patang, Guda, and Nakhlaoo are some
of the kites used in fighting and they vary in balance,
weight and speed through the air.
Weifang, Shandong, China promotes itself as the kite
capital of the world. It is home to the largest kite
museum in the world, which has a display area of 8100
m2. Weifang hosts an annual international kite festival
on the large salt flats south of the city. There are
several kite museums in Japan and others in UK, Malaysia,
Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand and the USA.
In Greece and Cyprus, flying kites is a tradition for
Clean Monday, the first day of Lent. In the British
Overseas Territory of Bermuda, traditional Bermuda kites
are made and flown at Easter, to symbolise Christ's
ascent. Bermuda kites hold the world records for altitude
In Chile, it is very popular, especially during Independence
Day festivities (September 18).
In Guyana, kites are flown at Easter and is an activity
participated in by all ethnic and religious groups.
Kites are generally not flown at any other time of year.
Kites start appearing in the sky in the weeks leading
up to Easter and school children are taken to parks
for the activity. It all culminates in a massive airborne
celebration on Easter Monday especially in Georgetown,
the capital, and other coastal areas. The history of
the practice is not entirely clear but given that Easter
is a Christian festival, it is said that the flying
kite is symbolic of the Risen Lord. Moore describes
the phenomenon in the 19th century as follows:
A very popular Creole pastime was the flying of kites.
Easter Monday, a public holiday, was the great kite-flying
day on the sea wall in Georgetown and on open lands
in villages. Young and old alike, male and female, appeared
to be seized by kite-flying mania. Easter 1885 serves
as a good example. “The appearance of the sky
all over Georgetown, but especially towards the Sea
Wall, was very striking, the air being thick with kites
of all shapes and sizes, covered with gaily coloured
paper, all riding bravely on the strong wind"
(His quotation is from a letter to The Creole newspaper
of December 29, 1858). The exact origins of the practice
of kite flying (exclusively) at Easter are unclear.
Brereton and Yelvington speculate that kite flying was
introduced by Chinese indentured immigrants to the then
colony of British Guyana in the mid 19th century. The
author of an article in the Guyana Chronicle newspaper
of May 6, 2007 is more certain:
Kite flying originated as a Chinese tradition to mark
the beginning of spring. However, because the plantation
owners were ever so suspicious of the planter class
[read, plantation workers], the Chinese claimed that
it represented the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It
was a clever argument, as at that time, Christians celebrated
Easter to the glory of the risen Christ.