Five major kite festivals around the world
National Kite Day is celebrated in the United States each year on February 8, to honor the art and sport of kiting. This day also reminds us to regain our freedom and enjoy precious moments of relaxation and pleasure.
Although now a favorite pastime of people around the world, kites are said to have originated in China in 470 BC. However, modern kites have come a long way from bamboo and strings to nylon and plastic sheets.
So on this National Kite Day, check out some world famous kite festivals that see the participation of thousands of people. While kite festivals are held to celebrate a rich harvest in some countries, many others hold such fairs to honor the sport.
1) Ahmedabad, India
This Indian city bursts into fun and color every January as it celebrates the International Kite Festival. The holiday marks the country’s harvest festival or Makar Sankranti, and the kite is considered a sun salutation. Families in northern India crowd onto rooftops and open grounds on this day to fly kites. The best place to enjoy the festival is the edge of the Sabarmati River where people lay down to see the sky filled with thousands of colors thanks to the kites.
2) Weifang, China
This annual festival is usually held from April 20 to 25 in Weifang, a city in Shandong Province in China. Considered the birthplace of kites, Weifang claims 70% of the world’s kite exports. More than a thousand people attend the festival each year. During festival days, the skies of Weifang are dotted with not only traditional kite patterns like butterflies, triangles, and centipedes, but also modern spaceships and satellites.
3) Washington D.C., USA
The United States holds a gigantic event to celebrate the kite every year from March to early April. Held as part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrations, the event sees at least 30,000 and 40,000 attend. The festival also commemorates the friendship between the United States and Japan, where the mayor of Tokyo presented Japanese cherry trees to the city. This year, the festival takes place on March 26.
4) Bali, Indonesia
The two-day International Kite Festival is usually held in Bali in July. The festival originally started as a seasonal festival, giving thanks to the heavens and the gods for bountiful crops and harvests. But, now it has become a competition and often sees multiple side events. Traditional giant kites are made and flown competitively by teams from villages in Denpasar these days.
5) Gold Coast, Australia
Every November Australia hosts the Kirra Kite Festival near the Gold Coast. Although not as gigantic as other festivals, the charm of Kirra lies in the beautiful beaches of the Gold Coast. In addition to honoring kite culture, the festival also celebrates multicultural arts, food, and street performances.