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Kite Festivals Around the World

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Ankita loves to explore various aspects of science and is passionate about writing on topics of her interest.

Learn about the five most popular kite festivals and the history of kites.

Learn about the five most popular kite festivals and the history of kites.

The joy of watching colourful kites soaring in the sky, if not flying one, is always wonderful. Over the millennia, kites have been used to deliver messages, ward off evil, discover natural phenomena, raise banners, represent the gods, catch fish, and propel craft and so on. Today kites are flown mostly for sport and pleasure. It is also considered to be a folk form of artistic expression. Kites are extraordinary inventions which make it seem they have been around forever.

History of Kites

It is widely believed that the kite was invented in China although some historians suggest that it might have its origin in Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia. It is believed that about two to three thousand years ago, kites were flown in China and the Malay Archipelago.

Studying the earliest written accounts of kite flying, it was discovered that a kite was flown by a Chinese general Han Hsin, Han Dynasty (206 B.C.–220 A.D.). The purpose was to calculate the distance between his army and a tunnel to reach under the city wall. This was done during a military campaign and because of knowing the exact measurements; they startled their enemy and were victorious.

Eventually, the popularity of kite flying spread along trade routes to India, Korea and Japan from China. In the period of the Three Kingdoms (4–645 A.D.), they arrived in Korea. Around the 7th century, kites were brought to Japan by Buddhist monks. They were used as “talismans” or magical figures as invocations for a rich harvest and to avert evil spirits.

Indian kite flying is believed to be first practised during the Mughal Period (1483–1530) and this is evident from the miniature paintings. One of the favourite themes from those paintings is of a young lover dropping his message-bearing kite onto the rooftop of his waiting love.

Popular Kite Festivals Around the World

Kite flying today is a worldwide sport, pastime and recreation for many people in almost every culture. People, from the very young to the eldest, enjoy the regular kite festivals celebrated annually. Competitions are held nationally and internationally for single-line, dual-line and quad-line kites. Kites in different colours, shapes, concepts and sizes take over the sky and becomes a visual treat for the spectators.

The kite-making skills have also evolved with time and today, flexible materials are used to make kites which make them more resilient. Also some kites are made very big and need to be carried by a few people. Below is a list of popular kite festivals around the world.

Weifang International Kite Festival

Weifang International Kite Festival

1. Weifang China

Weifang is known as the “World’s Kite Capital” as people believe kites were invented in Weifang. This kite festival is the biggest in the world. It is held in the month of April and the city is decked up with beautiful streamers and lanterns at that time. Dragon kites are most commonly seen in the sky at this festival. The Weifang Kite Museum is one of the biggest kite museums in the world.

International Kite Festival in Ahmedabad

International Kite Festival in Ahmedabad

2. Gujarat, India

The kite festival in Gujarat is held every year in the month of January. The festival of kites in India is related to the festival of Makar Sankranti. Every year the celebration inaugurates in the month of January and continues for three days. Spectators and participants from all over the world come to the city of Ahmedabad, Gujarat to enjoy the show.

Bali Kite Festival

Bali Kite Festival

3. Bali, Indonesia

This kite festival is held every July on Sanur beach in Bali. It started as a prayer to the gods for a good harvest. The most common kites seen are the traditional motifs of fish, leaves and birds. Sketches of Hindu gods are also found up in the air. The sky resembles a mosaic with kites of different shapes and colours.

Festival of the Winds in Sydney

Festival of the Winds in Sydney

4. Sydney, Australia

The kite festival in Sydney takes place in the month of September at the golden Bondi Beach. This festival has been running for 40 years. One can master the art of kite-making at their workshops. The puppet show is another attraction of the Australian kite festival. The Festival of the Winds, as it is called, is Australia’s biggest kite festival and one of the biggest in the world.

Blossom Kite Festival

Blossom Kite Festival

5. Washington DC, USA

This kite festival was initially called the Smithsonian Kite Festival but now it is known as the Blossom Kite Festival. This event takes place in the resort city of Long Beach in the month of April. The kite flyers here flaunt their creativity and skills. Blossom Kite Festival is organized each year by the World Kite Museum and Hall of Fame. It is the only museum in America fully dedicated to the art and science of the world history of kites.

References and Recommended Reading

Comments

Ankita B (author) on November 04, 2020:

Thank you very much Chitrangada. It is really great to witness such events. I am glad that you enjoyed reading this article. I appreciate your kind comments.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on November 04, 2020:

Excellent article about the kite festivals around the world and the history attached to this.

Having lived in Gujarat, I am fortunate to have witnessed the enthusiasm and excitement of the annual kite festival.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful and informative article.

Ankita B (author) on October 27, 2020:

Thank you very much Dora for reading and commenting. I am happy to know that you enjoyed reading my article. I appreciate your lovely comments and your visit.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on October 27, 2020:

I'd like to see an International kite festival for real. Here we fly kites at Easter, but it's not as festive as when I was growing up. Thanks for the facts and the pictures.

Ankita B (author) on October 27, 2020:

Thank you Devika. I am delighted that you liked my explanations and and enjoyed reading this article.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 27, 2020:

This is different in each country and had no idea of it. I like the photos and your great explanations.

Ankita B (author) on October 26, 2020:

Thank you so much Abby for your lovely comments. I am happy to know that you loved reading this article and it have brought back fond memories. Have a wonderful day.

Abby Slutsky from America on October 26, 2020:

I loved this article. I have never been to a kite festival, but I have fond memories of my dad flying them on the beach with his grandchildren (and his children too).

Ankita B (author) on October 25, 2020:

I always appreciate your kind comments, Linda. Thank you. I am glad that you enjoyed reading this article. Yes kite festivals are enjoyable event to watch with creatively designed kites soaring in the sky.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 25, 2020:

Thanks for sharing this interesting information, Ankita. I've never been to a kite festival. I think it would be an enjoyable event to watch. I love the ones that resemble animals.

Ankita B (author) on October 25, 2020:

Thank you Nella for reading and commenting. I appreciate your lovely comments and your visit.

Nella DiCarlo from Guelph, Ontario on October 25, 2020:

Enjoyed this very interesting article! Would like to go to a kite festival one day.

Ankita B (author) on October 25, 2020:

I appreciate your kind comments, Eman. Thank you. I am so glad that you enjoyed reading this article and found it interesting.

Ankita B (author) on October 25, 2020:

Thank you very much, Prithviraj. I appreciate your generous comments always.

Eman Abdallah Kamel from Egypt on October 25, 2020:

I love kites, and my kids have some kites to play with. This is the first time I read about kite festivals. I enjoyed reading this article. Thank you for sharing all this information about kite festivals.

Prithviraj Shirole from India on October 25, 2020:

Kite flying is an amazing sport. The article was amazing and informative to read. Thank you so much for sharing the knowledge.

Ankita B (author) on October 25, 2020:

I appreciate your kind comments Eric. Thank you for reading and commenting. I am happy that you liked reading this.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 25, 2020:

Very fun article. I wondered about some of this, thanks for filling me in.

Ankita B (author) on October 25, 2020:

Thank you very much Lorna for your lovely comments. Yes it is really great to witness the popularity of kite flying as a festival nowadays. I am so glad that you enjoyed reading this article.

Lorna Lamon on October 25, 2020:

I used to make my own kite as a child and took real pleasure in running along the beach, watching it soar. I really enjoyed this wonderful article Ankita and I'm delighted to see that even today 'kite flying' is as popular as ever.

Ankita B (author) on October 25, 2020:

Thank you so much Rosina. I am happy to know that you thoroughly enjoyed reading this article. I appreciate your generous comments.

Rosina S Khan on October 24, 2020:

This is an interesting and informative article about Kite history and Kite festivals, Ankita. I enjoyed the article thoroughly along with the illustrations.

Ankita B (author) on October 24, 2020:

Thank you Pamela for your kind comments which I always appreciate. I am delighted to know that you enjoyed reading this article. Yes it is hard to believe kites were first flown such a long time back.

Ankita B (author) on October 24, 2020:

Thank you Ivana for your lovely comments. I am glad that you enjoyed reading this article.

Ankita B (author) on October 24, 2020:

Thank you very much Danny for your insightful comments. It is so true what you have said. I really appreciate your encouraging words.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 24, 2020:

It is odd to thing of kites being flown hundreds of years ago. My children had kites a couple of times when growing up but I have never been to a festival. This is an interesting article, which I enjoyed, Ankita.

Ivana Divac from Serbia on October 24, 2020:

This is an interesting article. It made me want to visit a kite festivale in the future!

Danny from India on October 24, 2020:

Ankita, I like the selection of your topics. Kites have a mystery of their own. Although i was not fond of kite flying, I have seen some amazing designs, animals kites fluttering in the skies high above which reveals to us that we too need to soar high from our petty little misunderstandings, trivial fights, and prejudices.

Ankita B (author) on October 24, 2020:

Thank you Kalpana. I am happy that you found this article informative. Yes kite festivals are wonderful.

Kalpana Iyer from India on October 24, 2020:

Never been to a kite festival. It looks like something that should not be missed! Informative article.

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