The concept of organizing kite festivals have existed as long as the kite itself. Early kite flyers saw it more as a religious activity- through which they predicted success or failure of agricultural harvests and fortunes- than a secular exercise for pleasure. During this period, kites were an integral part of festivals and religious celebrations.
In Japan, getting a child a New Year kite was virtually synonymous with presenting a Western child a birthday or Christmas gift. There used to be a Boy’s Festival in several parts of Japan, during which a large kite was flown in celebration of the birth of a male child.
However, there has been a massive change in this narrative for the past two to three hundred years. Kite flying has lost much of its religious significance. People now engage in the craft as a recreational activity, where children and adults showcase their kite making and flying prowess.
Flying Kites Global Festival is one of the numerous new-school kite-celebrating events. It arose as a way of honoring the late Trenton, New Jersey-born kite icon, who devoted his life towards promoting unity and creativity among the city’s residents through kite flying. In his lifetime, he’d often organize a kite fest in his community’s playground, where kite lovers, mostly children, would go to exhibit their kite flying skills.
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