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5 of the world's best kite festivals

14 February 2020 08:22

Travel in search of elaborate kite displays

Travel in search of elaborate kite displays

Did you know that Kite Flying Day falls on 8th February? Giant kites, kite fighting and kite workshops are a flight away. Read on for five of the best kite festivals from around the world...

The Barrilete Festival, Guatemala

Head to Sumpango on All Saints Day, Sunday 1st November, to join Guatemalans as they fly huge kites around 15 to 20 metres wide as part of the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) hangover. The tradition dates back to the Mayans who would fill the skies to ward off bad spirits after their 24-hour stint with mortals. The complex designs take up to five months to create from scratch.

The Zilker Kite Festival, USA

March in Austin, Texas has meant almost only one thing for the past 90 years: the Zilker Kite Festival. Long before the famed SXSW music festival, the city founded its kite fest to encourage creativity in kids. Bring your own kite or purchase one at the Zilker Park venue to fly uncompetitively, the choice is yours. The family-friendly day welcomes pets and hosts a fun run and musical concert alongside a traditional flying contest.

The Festival of the Winds, Australia

Over 70,000 visitors flock to Sydney in September for a coastal kite flying bonanza. Bondi's pristine beaches welcome enthusiasts parading their handmade creations, with the helpful gusts of fresh sea air. The free event has been held here for more than four decades and crowds today are entertained by more food stalls, kite making workshops and art installations than ever.

International Kite Festival, India

The state of Gujarat celebrates its kite festival every January after months of preparation. Patang Bazaar, a dedicated kite market, opens 24 hours a day in the final week before the festival to make sure nobody misses out on the seven-day celebration. Festival highlights include the 500-kite chain, fixed to a single string and handmade by the master kitemaker of Ahmedabad. When night falls tukkals or lighted paper lanterns take to the sky in their thousands.

Hamamatsu Festival, Japan

When the Lord of Hamamatsu Castle's first son was born in the 16th century, the nation celebrated with the help of kites. The tradition of marking your firstborn son with a flight remains to this day, but extended to mark the birth of daughters too. Keep your eyes peeled for kite fights – the fading custom sees skilled flyers use friction to cut the twine of their opponents.

Fancy taking to the skies yourself? Don't forget your insurance

At World First we offer worldwide travel insurance so you can follow your kite in skies across the world.