Children besides showing our patriotic feelings, many of us consider Independence Day just like any other holiday. For some, it is a day of relaxation – Sleep, eat, rest, relax and freak out. Some plan to go out for a movie or spend time at a mall. But, there is still a majority of people who wait eagerly for this day for Kite Flying or Patang Bazi. Come 15th August, you will see the sky all dotted with kites of various hues, shapes, sizes. This is one of the most popular activities carried out by people of all age group since a long time, and the tradition still continues. In some areas, terrace parties are organised with kite flying as the main attraction. You get to hear cheerful shouts as the kites soar in the sky. Families and neighbours compete with each other. The winner is the one who cuts the largest number of kites in the locality. It is said that kite flying is associated with the spirit of freedom. There are some special occasions, on which every kite enthusiast involves himself in Patang Bazi. These occasions includes Makar Sankranti, Basant Panchami, Raksha Bandhan and Independence Day.
In Hindi, Kite is called Patang and the string with which it is flown is called Manjha. The wood or the bamboo roll on which the string is wound is called Charkhi.
How To Fly A kite
First, one must select a suitable kite. The kite is made either out of thin paper or plastic and small wooden dowels. Once you have a kite, it must be threaded with just the right length of string tied in the correct places to allow for the proper balance.
The kites are then attached to a string called manja, which is coated with glass powder. This is necessary for kite-fighting, because the string needs to be abrasive enough to cut someone else’s kite down from the sky.
Launching the kite into the sky requires a little wind, and a lot of luck. Once the kite catches the breeze, it begins to soar. Once the kite is in the sky, you begin to look-out for a competitor. Kites slowly begin to make their way towards one another, preparing for a fight. The fight itself is so much fun to watch! The two kites come so close together and they tango for a while. Each flyer tries to get the perfect position to cut the other one’s string. Cutting the string requires finger skills and good timing. Tensions rise as the two kites continue to tangle together until, suddenly, one of the kite drops and then begins to float slowly towards the ground, dipping in a see-saw motion on its way down. If you’re the winner and your kite is still high in the sky, then you and your friends get to celebrate and yell woh kaata!
How to Make a Kite
Kites can be pricey if you buy them from a store. Why not make them at home? A kite obeys basic laws of physics and it's a simple, practical craft that you can enjoy making.
1 Use paper to form the body of your kite.
2 To cut a diamond shape on the paper, cut the 4 corners off. The diamond needs to be slightly bottom heavy — about 3″ from the top is where your two left and right corners should lie.
3 Tie two sticks together. To make sure they're in the right spot, line them up with your paper first. Tie as tight as possible! It should be securely knotted and the excess string cut off.
4 Pierce 4 holes in the diamond-shaped paper at each corner. Thread a string through each hole and around each stick. Leave a bit extra on the top to thread a ribbon on, if desired later. Knot the stick in place to the kite itself.
5 Tie a string to the right and left hand sides of the horizontal stick. Then tie the string to the center of that string for your flying line. This string needs to be as long as you need to be for flying.
6 Tie on paper or ribbon to the corners to form the tail.
7 Ask someone to help you hold your kite as you wait for a moderate wind to come. The wind should be blowing toward you, not from behind. When you feel the breeze, start running and throw the kite up into the air! With luck, it'll stay airborne.
A Request From PETA
For all kite flying lovers, there is an urgent request from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) not to use manjha for flying kites, because, a manjha is coated with finely powdered glass, which is dangerous for birds when they get entangled in the thread. It is also dangerous for pedestrians and two-wheelers. Instead, everyone should use cotton threads.
Brief History of Kite
Man had the desire to fly since time immemorial. It was the spirit of man and his imagination that ultimately saw the invention of kites. Flying of kites has a history of 3,000 years old with China as its place of origin. Kite flyers feels that one Hakeem Jalinoos, created first kite to treat a paralysed prince. Ancient and medieval Chinese sources describe kites being used for measuring distances, testing the wind, lifting men, signaling, and communication for military operations. The earliest known Chinese kites were flat (not bowed) and often rectangular. Later, tailless kites incorporated a stabilising bowline. Kites were decorated with mythological motifs and legendary figures; some were fitted with strings and whistles to make musical sounds while flying. From China, kites were introduced to Cambodia, India, Japan, Korea and the western world. Kites were late to arrive in Europe. In fact, the period from 1860 to about 1910 became the “golden age of kiting”. Kites started to be used for scientific purposes, especially in meteorology, aeronautics, wireless communications and photography; many different designs of man-lifting kite were developed as well as power kites. In the Mughal period, even the Kings, Princes and Jagirdars used to fly kites for themselves which includes even Bahadur Shah Zafar . Wajid Ali Shah in fact was mad after kites. In 1927, Indians used the kites to protest against the Simon Commission after writing “Go Back” on the kites and flew them in the sky. Ever since then, kite flying on Independence Day has become a tradition for Indians. With the unfurling of the National Flag on August 15th, Bharatwasis also get busy with kite flying as it is an expression of freedom, happiness and patriotism.
Kites had played a big role in the Korean revolt in the regime of Sill Dynasty around one thousand and eight hundred years ago .Wright brothers who invented Airplane in 1903 used kites for their experiments. In 1752 Franklyn called kites as electricity and Marconi in 1814 used kites to send first radio signal. Alexander Graham Bell, Lawrence Hawgrob and Franklyn Kodi also used kites for their experiments. Kites were also used by the army generals to send signals and to measure the distance of enemy camps. Kites were used as observation devices during both the First and Second World Wars. The development of mechanically powered airplane diminished interest in kites . Since then they are used mainly for recreation. —Aniket Raja