March 7, 2015
A blaze of colour, beauty, sound and aromas from the South of Thailand
When: February/ March 2017
Where: Satun Air Field, TambolKlongKud, Muang district, Satun Province. Southern Thailand
How to get there: 940 kms from Bangkok (Directions)
This year’s annual festival is billed as the biggest ever, with an attempt to simultaneously fly 8,000 kites to beat the existing world record. The event will be attended by both Thai and international kite enthusiasts. While there are reportedly at least one kite festival every weekend of the year in some part of the world this event is certainly one of the largest in Thailand.
There will be competitions galore featuring the most beautifully elaborate and highly decorated kites, to competitions featuring the most kites flown on a single line, plus a kite marathon and the ancient local ‘Buffalo Kite’ Waw Kwai kite contest. While Kwai is ‘Water Buffalo and sometimes used to call someone stupid, Waw means Kite in Thai……. this is why, you at times see Thai people looking to the sky when a non speaking Thai, expressing astonishment or admiration and calls out ‘wow’.
Waw Kwai is the name given to a particular kite made and flown in the southern provinces for centuries, the lower section of the kite resembles the head of a buffalo, reflecting the close working relationship between the farmer and his animals.
The festival is not just about fun in the air it also has it feet firmly on the ground with, cultural shows and exhibitions featuring local customs in Dance, Music and hand crafts along with demonstration on kite making. There is also a Thai Kite exhibition, cultural shows, a traditional Thai Fair with rides and games and the Miss Satun beauty contest. The evening have a life of their own and are filled with music from famous artists.
Not forgetting that amongst this rich tapestry of cultural history and new world records will be the ever present aromas of freshly cooked local food and beverages to help sustain you through what is a pretty hectic few days and nights.
Some interest facts on Kites
In Asia, kites are given to someone to bring them happiness, good luck, prosperity and cure illness.
Kites are used for bird scaring, forecasting the weather and frightening evil spirits away.
Approximately 12 people are killed each year in kiting accidents throughout the world.
It is now thought that the first kites flown over 3000 years ago, were made from leaves. In Indonesia leaf kites are still used for fishing.
Kite flying was banned in China during the Cultural Revolution, anyone found flying a kite was sent to jail for up to three years and their kites destroyed.
There are 78 rules in kite fighting in Thailand.
Kite flying was banned in Japan in 1760 because too many people preferred to fly kites than work.
The aeroplane is a development of the kite.
For centuries kites have been used in wars and battles, for signalling, lifting observers, target practice, as barrage kites, dropping propaganda leaflets etc.
The largest number of kites flown on a single line is 11,284, this record is held by a Japanese kite maker.
The longest kite in the world is 1034 metres (3394 ft.).
A little bit about Satun
The province is located on the Malay Peninsula, on the shore of the Andaman Sea. It is separated from Songkhla Province by the Nakhon Si Thammarat mountain range, and from Malaysia by the Sankalakhiri Mountains. It is one of Thailand’s smallest provinces, 63rd in land size and 69th in population. Do note the province has a mainly Muslim population and so there is limited night life and it is not the best place for a drinking holiday.
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