Colours are often used as metaphors for moods, scientists say, but in north India especially Delhi, people fly kites of different colours, along with unfurling of tricolour in the sky to express happiness, joy, and patriotism on August 15th, i.e. Independence Day of India. The colourful kites snatch your gaze from the sun and fill your heart and mind with patriotism. In fact kite flying in India symbolises ‘ Independence’ i.e. one is free from all restraints. It shows that now Bharat is an Independent country. In 1927, Indians used kites to protest against the Simon Commission. Kites with the slogan “Go Back Simon” written over them were flown in the sky. Since then,it is a tradition to fly kites on Independence Day .With the unfurling of the national flag on August 15th, Delhites get occupied with kite flying as an expression of freedom, joy and patriotism.
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. Kite flying is also there on Makar Sankranti, Basant Panchami and Raksha Bandhan.
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.
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, signalling, 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. Wajid Ali Shah in fact was mad after kites. 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.
How to Make a Kite
Children there is no point wasting money on buying kites.They can be pricey if you buy them from a store, especially on special occasions like Independence Day. 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.
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 manjha, 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!
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. Further for safety of oneself one should fly kites in open grounds and not from roof tops.
Kite flying has become a costly game and spread not only in Delhi and Gujarat but all over the country. In Delhi alone there are 140 Registered and 250 Non-Registered Kite clubs where the kite flyers are trained for kite flying.