There are some amazing kite festivals around the world – you just need to know where to find them, which is where I come in…
Seeing thousands of kites in the sky is kind of magical. Way back before we were glued to our phones 24/7 seeing kites colour the sky was one of the most impressive sights some people had ever seen.
Kite festivals were originally popular with wealthy people to show off their latest build, but now kite flying is accessible for all around the world. Flying a kite has been so popular in the past in fact, that January the 14th is International Kite Day.
Historically, International Kite Day originated in India, however, India isn’t the only place with kite festivals. Here are some of the world’s best kite festivals for you to plan your future travels by.
1. International Kite Festival in Gujarat, India
We’ve gathered that kite festivals are incredibly popular in India, but one of the greatest kite festivals is the International Kite Festival in Gujarat. Interestingly, there are over 2000 festivals in the region every year, but locals regard this festival as the most popular.
The festival takes place on the 14th of January every year and attracts thousands of visitors from across the globe. There are thousands of kites every year, meaning many locals will set up shops outside their homes to sell kites and contribute to the festival. Also, the best spot to watch the festival is the Sabarmati River Bank because there are often 500,000 people here watching the kites fly.
The locals perform the festivals to symbolise the gods’ awakening from a deep sleep, so it’s a very spiritual celebration too. During the celebration, locals will all head to the rooftops, and the buzz and atmosphere around the region are electric – truly a must-see!
2. Festival of the Winds, Sydney
Sydney is one of the world’s greatest cities – home to fantastic sunshine, nature, and world-class beaches, but it’s also home to one of the world’s greatest kite festivals. Every September – just as the city starts to warm up – a massive kite festival occurs on the iconic Bondi Beach.
The festival dates back 40 years. Not only is it one of the oldest kite festivals in the Southern Hemisphere, but it’s also Australia’s largest kite festival. Plus, if you’re feeling creative, there are multiple kite-making workshops where you can build your own kite and fly it around Bondi Beach.
The festival offers a vast range of food from all around the globe, reflecting Sydney’s vast multi-culturalism. And if you’re looking for children’s entertainment, kids will love the puppet theatre and multiple special activities. There are also various shows on the main stage aimed at adults, so either way, you’ll never run out of things to do. After the festival, why not take a swim in Bondi Beach?
I’ve written a guide to some of the best cheap things to do in Sydney to keep that budget down. There’s a video in that link too.
3. Blossom Kite Festival, Washington, D.C
Washington D.C is one of the world’s most famous cities for being a hub of global economics, culture, and politics. In addition, it also has one of the world’s greatest kite festivals. The event takes place at Long Beach towards the end of April, and it’s an incredible spectacle!
Every year, the World Kite Museum and Hall of Fame organise the festival, which always attracts thousands of kite fanatics. The festival dates back to 1967 when Paul E. Garber – one of America’s aviation pioneers – decided to create the festival. In 2011, the city renamed the festival from the Smithsonian Kite Festival to the Blossom Kite Festival.
The festivals tend to have different themes every year. Historically, these themes have changed from going green to promote environmental sustainability to cultural themes worldwide. Washington D.C. has a large Chinese population (where kites are culturally very important,) so you’ll see lots of Chinese kites and plenty of Chinese stalls with food.
4. Bali Kite Festival
Bali is an island of immense tropical beauty and excitement – that’s why it attracts around 10 million visitors per year. It is also a fantastic spot for kite fans, with the annual Bali Kite Festival taking place yearly at Sanur Beach. Visitors enjoy the eclectic mix of kites, including fish, leaves, and birds.
Did you know that Hindu is the most popular religion in Bali?
Because of that, you can see a vast range of kites that reflect the culture and religion of the tropical island. You can ever see multiple Hindu gods in the air, quite a sight! The event intends to send a ‘thank you‘ message to the Hindu gods to create a wide abundance of harvests and crops.
There is lots of food and drink on offer at the festival, and a gameplan orchestra plays throughout the duration of the festival. You’ll also find thousands of spectators because it is one of the island’s most important traditional events.
If you’re in Bali, make sure to check out Seminyak while you’re there, too.
5. Weifang International Kite Festival, China
Kites are an immensely popular pastime in China, and that’s why the Weifang International Kite Festival is one of the best kite festivals globally. Furthermore, many regard this festival as the home of kites. It is officially the biggest kite festival globally, attracting tens of thousands of people, and it’s a tremendous spectacle for anyone.
The festival always takes place at the end of each April, and the locals decorate the city in enormous colours, lights, and symbols. There are thousands of kites, but the most popular kite is the dragon because it is a Chinese symbol. Most of the kites have a symbolic meaning, with direct connotations to Chinese history and folklore.
The Weifang Kite Museum is one of the world’s biggest kite museums and attracts thousands of visitors alone.
6. International Dieppe Kite Festival, France
France is famous for its incredible art and design, and if you visit the International Dieppe Kite Festival, you’ll find some of the most incredible kite designs worldwide. Visitors come from all over the globe to see the kites, and it attracts thousands of visitors.
The festival takes place every two years, and it takes place at the end of summer. Usually, there is an incredible 500,000 kite flyers from every corner of the globe, so you can expect an incredible buzz and atmosphere. Plus, if you bring the family, you’ll find so many family attractions throughout the seafront.
There’s food from all over the world to accommodate the 40 countries that take part in the event. At every Festival with kites, you’ll find different themes that have cultural and historical significance.
7. Portsmouth International Kite Festival, UK
The Portsmouth International Kite Festival is one of the best kite festivals in the UK. Dating back 30 years, you can see a massive range of kites a wide range of eccentric designs. Visitors will find thousands of kite flyers at the event organised by the Kite Society of Great Britain and the Portsmouth City Council.
If you’re looking for a fantastic setting for the kite festival, you’ve got Southsea Common, near where I live. There are lots of strong winds, and you’ll have fantastic conditions to fly your kite high in the sky.
There are also loads of stalls, workshops, and food. If children want to create their own kite, why not take them to the children’s kite making workshop? There is a skilful team of kite makers who will help you learn how to fly a kite in the best way.
8. Barrilete Festival, Guatemala
The Barrilete Festival is an incredible display of colour, art, and design. Visitors love the incredible kite show that takes place in November every year, and there are thousands of handmade kites created by the locals. The locals spend months on end creating the kites and begin designing the kites up to 6 months in advance.
The festival is very spiritual, and the locals see it as an ancient rite dating back to the indigenous cultures. Many of these kites are 20 metres wide and constructed from bamboo, and the biggest kites remain on the floor to create a phenomenal backdrop. Furthermore, there are tonnes of other kites of all different sizes.
Families tend to put messages on the tail of the kite, intending to reach the deceased. When the message reaches the top of the kite, the message has touched its desired recipient. The locals often create kites to address problematic social issues, and these include violence, pollution, and women’s justice.
9. Brisbane Kite Festival
Brisbane is the capital of Australia’s sunshine state of Queensland and Brisbane is home to one of the world’s best kite festivals. Kite enthusiasts come from all over the glove to this event, and you’ll find incredible views of the kites flying in the sky next to the beautiful skyline.
The festival is home to various food markets with international cuisine. There are lots of kite workshops, entertainment, and arts and crafts. The food includes a sausage sizzle, burgers, and lots of ice cream for those hot days.
Best kite festivals in the world
There you go, the most important kite festivals in the world. Which one would you go to?