NATIONAL KITE FLYING DAY
Observed annually on February 8th, National Kite Flying Day is marked by kite flying enthusiasts across the country.
Kites date back to China in 470 B.C. China is full of lore and histories of the origins of the kite. Many are related to the way wind affects the leaves on the trees, the shelters they lived in, blowing away the sails on their ships and the hats they wore upon their heads. The stories also tell of kites being invented to spy on their enemies or to send messages.
There is also evidence that the people of South Sea Islands were using kites for fishing around the same time as the people of China.
Early kites were constructed from bamboo or sturdy reeds for framing. Leaves, silk or paper made ideal sails. Vines or braided fibers completed the line or tether. While kites were initially used as tools, they were also ceremonial as well. Used to send messages into the heavens or to lift offerings up to the gods, kites had a symbolic place in the culture.
Today kites are popular both as hobbies and for outdoor fun. They range from a simple diamond kite to more complicated box kites and giant sled kites. Stunt kites, also known as sport kites, are designed so the operator can maneuver the kite into dips, twists, and dives with dramatic effect.
Tips for Getting Your Kite Up in the Air and Keeping it There
Be sure the kite is assembled correctly.
Check the wind. Some kites require more wind and others less. Picking the right day for your kite is key. A light breeze (5-20 mph) is generally optimal.
Be safe. Don’t fly the kite near power lines, trees or other sky high obstacles. Wide open spaces are best.
Be safer. Don’t fly in the rain.
When launching the kite, be sure to have your back to the wind. If the wind is light, have a friend hold the kite down wind and hold your line taught, reeling in slowly until the kite launches.
Don’t let the line out too quickly. Let the line out at the same pace the kite is gaining altitude.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Go outside and fly a kite if weather permits. If not, make one inside. In some parts of the country, the time of year may make it difficult to fly a kite. There are kite festivals at various periods of the year. Use today to scout out those festivals and make a plan to join in. Use #NationalKiteFlyingDay to post on social media.
Within our research, we were unable to identify the creator of National Kite Flying Day.
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