Kites Competition – Sanur Village Festival

Annual Kites Competition

flying kites on a bali beach
Let the games begin!

Sanur Village Festival is an annual event which runs for five days, there is a slight variation on the dates from year to year but this year 2017 it returns in its 12th year of celebration around August 26th-30th (always a rough guide) and this according to many websites!
Usually it takes place anywhere between mid-August and the last week of August although the Indonesian Tribun News sets festival dates as running from 9th to 13th August 2017. so make of it what you will. The festival offers a range of cultural activities such as water sports which includes the racing of traditional Indonesian Jukung boats fully equipped with sails!

sanur cultural event sailing boats stock photo
Indonesian Jukung Boats

Surf competitions, dance performances, music and food festival along with the highly popular Indonesian tradition of Kite Flying is to name but a few of the activities on the Sanur Village Festival program.
Here I will be concentrating on the final day and the Kites (Layang Layang in bahasa Indonesia) Competition.
 
blue sky filled with flying snake kites
Balinese Long Tail Kites
 
 
Kite Teams flying Kites
 
The Kite Competition sees hundreds of people from all over south Bali pooled together in groups from their respective areas or Banjars to fly some of the biggest and most interesting kites you are likely to see in Indonesia. Each flying challenge lasts around 20 minutes and the category of kites ranges from small to big to enormous.
 
big yellow kite carried along beach
Taking up position

Even the small kites which the youngsters normally tend to fly still need a number of people to execute a successful flight but the biggest kites can have a team of around twenty people and rope for a kite flying line is used to fly these monsters as standard kite string would not stand a chance in the high winds during the summer months and the windy season especially at the height these Kites fly!

team flying kites at the kite competition
Flying Kites at the Kite Competition

A winch is used to safely release rope and allows some sort of control over the biggest kites when taking to the skies and for reeling it in. An essential part of the overall equipment which is a necessity and without this there would be little in the way of control.

Another Team of Kite Flyers Preparing Kites

long tail snake kite on bali beach
Long tail Snake Kite on Bali beach
 
The event attracts a huge crowd of spectators and participants similar to that of the Sanur Annual Kite Festival which also showcases during the summer months. The World of competitive Kite Flying in Bali is a real eye opener when one sees the intense rivalry with aerial dog fights not uncommon in the air and the barracking that ensues while the heats are in process.

Huge Bebean (fish-shaped) Kites

Stunning array of Kites at Mertasari Beach
 
The actual Venue of the competition is at Mertasari Beach (Pantai Mertasari) in Sanur. The turquoise waters of the sea are directly behind the main flying area. A big sandy expanse of wasteland usually reserved for such events which can clearly be seen on Google maps as a landmark and makes a great venue on a Bali beach for flying kites.

Kite Competitor Manning Up
 

Smaller variety of Balinese Kite

A lot of the kites tend to have pieces of bowed bamboo which make up the framework and create a humming sound as they hover in the air due to the vibration of the kite string which actually bows the bamboo as can be seen in the image above.

 
Fighting for Control
 
All in all a great way to spend the day if you have never been to a Balinese kite festival and wish to see some truly stunning Bali kites, plenty of food and drinks are available at the location but little shade i’m sorry to say. If it’s a clear and sunny day come prepared with at least a hat and enjoy this Balinese cultural pastime, it’s a must see if you are in Bali at the right time of year.

Flying the Team Flags

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Travel stock photo Specializing in Documentary, Asian cultures, Events, Festivals, Travel destinations, Food and Drink, Creative photography, Portraits, Commercial etc

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