Why not take a delta kite or diamond kite with you on your travels? Modern flat kites pack down into a small thin carry bag. There are several good reasons to take a kite of some sort with you on your next international trip.
Firstly, no matter where and when you travel overseas, you probably aren’t far from a kite fly-in or festival of some sort. These events almost always allow public participation. Depending on who you are, you might enjoy the opportunities to take great photographs, meet people, or just revel in the kite flying! You might even learn a bit about the traditional kites of the host country. Have something different to document in photos or video!
Secondly, most single and dual-line kites these days are lightweight and very easy to transport in their carry bags. Not only that, but some designs such as parafoils and simple sleds require no set-up at all. These flexible kites pack down into a small bag and only need to have a line attached to be ready to fly. Even other types such as deltas, diamonds and stunt kites are generally very straight-forward to setup before flying. For example, a delta kite is easiest, only requiring the ends of a single spreader rod to be plugged in.
Thirdly, the simple pleasures of kite flying are available just about anywhere, anytime. Any beach is a good spot to pull out a kite and fly. Sea breezes are less variable than inland. Parks and reserves also have wide open spaces, although you might need to fly high above the surrounding obstacles to find smoother air. Be aware that some countries are stricter than others when it comes to airspace regulations. If you keep a good distance from airports and keep the kite under 100 meters (350 feet), you’ll stay out of trouble just about anywhere. Australia is one of the strictest countries in this regard.
On the subject of kite festivals, there are a number of large international events that can provide an awesome visual feast. See close-up everything from kids flying simple sleds to enormous show kites that cost as much as a second hand car! You might also catch performances by highly skilled stunt kite fliers and teams.
Major Kite Festivals Around The World
Consider passing through one of the following cities to catch an amazing event, and perhaps pull out that delta kite while you are there…
Jan: Ahmedabad, India
Feb: Basant, Pakistan
Mar: Adelaide, Australia
Apr: Weifang, China
May: Hamamatsu, Japan
Jun: Fano, Denmark
Jul: Bali, Indonesia
Aug: Bristol, U.K.
Sep: Dieppe, France
Oct: Coolum, Australia
Nov: Santiago, Guatemala
Dec: Sorry! Unable to find a major festival in December
Of course, you would need to confirm the exact dates of the event and the location of the city before departing. That’s easily done online. Also, searching online for more information on say, Hamamatsu Kite Festival or Santiago Kite Festival will reveal breathtaking worlds of kiting you never knew existed! Spectacular large kites from many cultures and intriguing histories abound.
All the above events are large in terms of the number of kites flown and the number of participants and spectators. In many cases, international kite designers and fliers are present at the invitation of the organizers. This is often the case even when the word ‘International’ is missing from the title of the event.
The U.S. scene really warrants a separate article. It would be possible to travel around the U.S. all year and fly your delta kite at a different event nearly every week!
I hope the list of 11 major festivals with month, city and country are useful to you as an international traveler. There are incredible kiting cultures everywhere across the globe. Sizes, shapes, designs and colors you can’t imagine until you see them. Even if you are not a keen flier, think of the entertainment value and memories gained for no extra cost! Bring all this home in your head and in the memory cards of your photographic devices.
Let kite flying add an extra dimension to your next overseas trip. Go on, fly a delta kite in foreign skies!
Tim Parish and his family have rediscovered the joys of kiting. They blog their kite flying fun on their my-best-kite.com website, and also research the kiting world. This site will introduce you to many kinds of kites and kite flying activities, including the Adelaide International Kite Festival, in South Australia.