It’s August again! You know what that means? It’s school holidays! And moreover, it’s the kite season! Kite-flying is a fun activity that you can do at a beach, park, or even in your own backyard. You can even hold contests for the highest flying kite, or the longest tail or most original design with your friends.
Did you know that the history of kite flying is thousands of years old? Let’s take a look at the history of the kite.
Kites have a history of 2500 years, and they were invented in China. The earliest kinds were used for testing the wind, measuring distances, and signalling. As the popularity of kites spread from Asia to Europe and beyond, they became more widely known as children’s toys and came to be used primarily as a leisure activity.
Gravity and lift
Have you ever wondered how a kite stays in the air? Wind is very important, but there are two scientific terms, gravity and lift.
When something is in the air, gravity is what pulls it back down to the ground. When you put a kite in the air, gravity wants to bring it down. So what keeps it up? Wind! Wind creates lift. Afternoons are generally the best time to fly a kite because there are better breezes around. From the roofs of buildings, along narrow streets, at a beach and anywhere with breeze, kites will be seen clearly sailing across clear blue skies.
To find out if there’s enough wind to fly a kite, go outside and look up. If you see leaves blowing on trees or flags waving sideways, it’s probably good kite-flying weather. When the wind is strong enough to move a flag, it’s moving at 7 to 18 miles per hour. That’s just right to lift a typical kite. If you’re not sure, you can take your kite outside and try it. First, ask an adult to help you find a safe area to fly your kite. Be especially careful to stay away from power lines. You can help your kite lift off the ground by running. Just make sure you look where you’re going.
Galle Face Green
Without a doubt Galle Face Green in Colombo is kite flier’s paradise with its capacious setting, and heady wind. So, we went there to talk some kite sellers on the beach. One of the sellers talking to The Nation said that within the kite season of August, the business is at the peak, but the off season some days they have no sales at all. They sell both local and Chinese kites which they buy from wholesale shops. There are different designs of kites to sale while the prices are between 100, 250 rupees.
When it comes to design your own kite, you can select from massive dragons and snakes to butterflies and all types of birds. The ‘tail’ has become essential not only for aerodynamic reasons, but also to make your kite to stand out from the crowd.
How to make a kite
1. Take two Bamboo sticks, and make a cross.
2. Tie the two sticks together, making an with a string. Use a drop of glue to make the joint stronger.
3. Cut a notch in the bottom of each stick. Be sure it’s deep enough for the string you’re using to fit through. Thread the string through all the notches, keeping the string taut, this will be the frame of your kite. It should be a diamond shape.
4. Pull the end of the string back to the middle of the kite, and wrap the string tightly around both sticks. Make another X with the string while wrapping, and tie it off in a knot.
5. Cut the paper larger than the frame by a little bit. Tuck the extra around the edges and glue or tape down.
6. Poke small holes in the top and bottom points. Cut a 2-foot piece of string, and knot through the holes you just made. This is the bridle of your kite.
7. Take the rest of the string, and tie it about halfway down the bridle, this is your flying string.
8. Tie a two foot piece of string to the bottom tip of your kite; use the ribbon to make bows along the rope. Adding a tail will make your kite more stable.
9. Decorate your kite.
1. Choose the right weather to fly your kite. A fairly windy day is the right weather to fly your kite in, but never during a thunderstorm.
2. Always avoid flying over or near airports, or power lines. You never know what you might snag.
3. If you tangle lines with another kite, do not yank the line or it might break. Fliers should walk together and the tangle will slide right down the line to where you can un-wrap it.
4. Find a friend to help you get the kite into the air. Flying a kite is much easier with two and it stays fun longer.