Introduction to Kite Flying Around the World
Like any other flying object, kites can inspire a child’s imagination, a society’s beliefs, and a community’s religion. Isn’t the flying dragon of China one of the strongest cores of Chinese beliefs? Aren’t the legends of Phoenix’s, Unicorns, and even UFOs used as inspirations to some cults and religions? Obviously, there is more to the kite than what meets the eye. It is quite hard to cover the numerous kite symbolisms all over the globe in one article, but here are a few interesting facts that you can share to friends (and wow them with your knowledge!).
Of course, kites are known as toys to children and the children at heart. The interesting part about that is some are content with keeping the kite airborne while some gamble using kites! In Japan, there is a small community in Osaka that celebrates kites by gambling over who can stay airborne the longest. In China, many individuals ride kites and soar over the countryside for fun. That’s like paragliding minus the navigation bar and plus the kite line!
A small community in Southern Philippines worships anything that has the ability to fly. Allah, the god of indigenous Filipinos, was said to have the ability to take the form of a flying creature. In China, the great dragon is a symbol of power and majesty. They strongly believe that this legendary dragon is China’s leader and deserves utmost respect. Thus, don’t be surprised to find dragon-shaped kites in China during their kite festivals. A small religious cult in Indonesia makes use of kites to send messages to their deity which is stationed at the moon. So, if you want to experience flying a kite at night, why not visit that humble community near down under?
Since the 5th century BC, man has wondered how the kite can be used to its full advantage. From meteorological, aerodynamic, and astronomical research to rescue and military operations, the kite has had its share of scientific experience. In Ancient China, the kite served as a means to send signals and messages. In Japan, kites were often used to warn people about tsunamis, incoming storms from the sea, and approaching bush fires near villages. Of course, everybody knows how Benjamin Franklin attempted to test the possibility that lightning is made up of electricity using a kite. The use of kites for science only ceased upon the arrival of airplanes and stealths that can soar airspace unnoticed.
The use of kites also entails some superstitions. Many Filipinos believe that flying kites may cause a disaster to the person flying the kite or to his immediate family or community. In Hungary, a kite whose navigator cannot be found is said to be a sign of good harvest. Some Americans also believe that flying kites during a sunny day can help you achieve your wish if you fly your kite long enough.
Truly, there is more to kites than mere flying. However, we should never expect that everybody can accept the beliefs, views, and superstitions of others when it comes to kites. The best thing you can do is to appreciate the kite and enjoy the simple pleasure of making it fly. No theological debates or religious clashes needed. After all, isn’t kite-flying a universal form of entertainment?