At this time of year strong and consistent winds blow from east to west across Bali, meaning that it is the season for kite flying. Where ever you go, look up and you will see kites flying high in the sky.
The local store sells decent kites for a few dollars, and we have taken the kids to the soccer field down the road to fly our new purchase a few times. We had no trouble getting it up, the trouble was holding on to the string. Woops there it goes…!!
While distracted the string came out of Olive’s hands, with a chase across the field ensuing, but alas no-one could catch it! Eventually the string got stuck in a tree and the kite continued to dance around in the sky for a couple of hours. The winds are so consistent that once the kite is high enough, the string is usually tied down and the kite’s just left there to flutter about.
In July, the 3-day annual Bali Kite Festival is held at Padang Galak Beach just north of Sanur. Teams from local villages (Banjars) spend months preparing large 10m long kites for the festival. It is a huge team effort even getting the kites there on the back of trucks.
We drove down to the beach last weekend to watch the festival. It was a pretty hot and windy day, which the organisers would have been happy with, but not so great for the spectators.
There were mostly Balinese people there to watch this annual event, including lots of local food and drinks on offer.
As with most things in Bali, there is religious importance to this event. The festival is undertaken to pay homage to the gods, to bring the best crops and a good harvest season.
It takes a team of people to drag the massive kites across the bumpy field in the aim to get them airborne… with varying levels of success. For the competition the kites are judged on the ease of launching, design, how high it flies, stability in the air and the landing. There are plenty of opportunities for it to go pear-shaped.
It is not the most exciting thing for spectators, so we didn’t stay that long, but it was worth seeing another traditional Bali event.