Let it fly and visit Kite Festivals!
Kite Festivals are probably one of the most popular places to meet kite flyers from across the world. Kites are so popular amongst hobbyists and professionals alike that they travel all over the world to take part in kite festivals. From small events at the local level to traditional and international level kite festivals, interested people can find a plethora of opportunities to practice their favourite sport.
Asia, the birthplace of kites, is known for its elaborate kite festivals that take place in China, Japan, India and many other parts of the continent. In India, kites are a regular feature on Makar Sankranti as well on Independence Day where they are flown as a symbol of spring and freedom respectively. Gujarat is also home to one of the biggest international kite festivals in the world that is held for three days before Uttarayan every year. The most popular cities where these are held are Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Surat.
In Asia another major kite center is, Shandong, China, the self-proclaimed kite capital of the world. It hosts one of the largest kite festivals in the world, held at Weifang, which is ideally placed in the long salt flats found in this region, the occasion is quite a spectacle and a must visit for every kite enthusiast. Apart from this Afghanistan was another major center for kite flying. The festival was known as Gudiparan Bazi, and participants often used pass their strings through a mixture of glue and ground glass powder, which though making it easier to cut opponent kites, can also cause injury. Due to the tensions in the country, the festival is no longer held, and was particularly banned while under Taliban rule.
Moving to Europe, kite festivals are normally held in countries like Greece and Cyprus, on the first day of Lent.
South America plays host to kite festivals on Independence Day in Chile, which the most well known. In Bermuda kite festivals are held on Easter, and are quite popular as Bermuda kites hold world records in duration and altitude.
A great event in most countries, kite festivals in some countries have been held since many hundreds of years, making them more of a tradition than a just a simple get-together.