The ancient tradition of flying kites is still alive in most countries of the world. Probably, its nostalgic association with childhood and dreams is what arouses so much interest in different cultures. And, in addition, every year different kite festivals are held.
A striking component is the possibility of displaying creativity in its construction and getting it to rise through the air. There is also the option to test knowledge in physics, design or art and make huge objects float as if gravity did not exist.
In addition, there are kites that have reached very high levels of sophistication and that require true professionals to control them. In any case, with homemade or specialized technology, to compete or just enjoy, happiness is what counts and the sky is the limit. We tell you about five fascinating kite festivals.
1. Kite Festivals: Weifang (China)
Do not forget that it was precisely in China that kites were invented, in 1200 BC. C. They were used as elements of military communication at a distance. Their colors or the movements they described were coded messages.
Of the kite festivals held in the country, Weifang is the most important. It is celebrated every year in Shandong, a province in eastern China. For a week in April, thousands of kite flying enthusiasts gather, both from China and from other countries.
This festival of shapes and colors is accompanied by artistic , folkloric and tradition activities that, together with kite flying, express the wishes and hopes of the Chinese people. It also plays a transcendent role of cultural exchange that strengthens friendship between peoples.
2. Sagami Giant Kite Festival (Japan)
This festival of takes place in Kanagawa every year in the month of May. All its inhabitants participate in it by teams. This ancient tradition seeks to preserve the materials with which the kites were originally built. For this reason, they can only be made with bamboo poles and paper extracted from mulberry fibers.
Sagami’s kites are colossal works up to 15 meters in diameter, with tails exceeding 85 meters and weights of up to one ton. The main rope is four centimeters thick and, when the wind is favorable, it takes about 100 people to lift it.
Kite festivals are gatherings that exalt hope. In Japan, messages are written on the paper of kites, with wishes created by the same population.
3. Kite Festival in Dieppe (France)
It is one of the most important festivals in the world. It takes place in the month of September. For nine days, the city of Dieppe welcomes kite enthusiasts from all over the world. The colorful show takes place on the beaches of this beautiful city and is completely free.
Each festival has a different theme and brings together experts in various disciplines from all continents. People of all ages and conditions can participate and, if they wish, they can also receive advice from professionals in this field. Additionally, there are introductory workshops in kite making and flying for all ages.
On the other hand, countless events are organized, such as games, animations, aerial photography, concerts, acrobatic dances and street shows, among others. But the best of all is the night kite flight, a show that is accompanied by lights and sound effects.
4. Sumpango Festival (Guatemala)
It is held every November 1st in the department of Sacatepéquez. It is an event for which the entire population of Sumpango prepares, even months in advance. They design and manufacture gigantic circular kites, up to 20 meters in diameter. They are very elaborate and reflect the skill and dedication of its inhabitants.
This kite festival seeks to keep alive both a religious and a cultural tradition. The residents of Sumpango believe that their deceased relatives visit this world on that date. For this reason, the Day of the Dead is a commemoration of loss and a celebration of reunion at the same time.
For the locals, the festival is a collective expression of their own identity, with much more meaning than just a distraction. For them, kites are messengers of peace and good intentions between the heavenly and the earthly. For this reason, those who fly them send telegrams written on paper, raising prayers that reach their gods.
5. Kite festivals: Ahmedabad (India)
Of all the kite festivals, this is one of the most competitive. It takes place in mid-January in Ahmedabad, although other cities in India participate simultaneously. It is a celebration that heralds the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Participation is massive and international in nature.
It is a time to be thankful and celebrate the awakening of your deities from the long sleep of winter. For this reason, the portals of heaven are reopened and faith is renewed. The spirit of its people rejoices in the act of flying kites, and they do so even from the roof of their houses. A spectacle of color in which the kites appear alive against the blue background.
The event also has a competitive spirit. They compete to find out who makes the most beautiful, largest kite, that rises higher, that lasts the longest in the air. In other cases, however, the work is associative and several kites are put together to fly with a single line.