During the Dashain festival, kite flying is a huge hit. It is not a religious event, but it is a lot of fun during the holiday season. Autumn is also a very relaxing season. This season does not have any extremes of temperature.
It can be played both indoors and outdoors, although most people prefer to fly kites outside since they like large wide areas where they can fly their kites freely. Some people prefer to fly kites from the tops of their buildings.
However, there is a risk of falling while flying kites from rooftops because most men and children will fall. They become thoughtless and carefree, losing their body’s balance. There is also no rain during this time of year. The end of the rainy season is also signaled by the kite-flying event. Farmers are unburdened this season because they do not have to cultivate anything.
They are relaxed and wish to spend their time flying kites in the open sky. They also beg to Indra, the god of rain, to stop it raining because it is no longer necessary. There is a very popular folk rhyme that I would like to quote here:
“Rain, Rain go away,
Come again another day
Rain, Rain go to Spain
Do not show your face again.”
In the background, they can also enjoy a seven-colored rainbow. ‘When I see a rainbow in the sky, my heart jumps up,’ remarked William Wordsworth, one of the most famous romantic writers. It is a source of enormous joy to fly a kite in the blue sky while admiring the rainbow’s magnificence.
They also think that flying a kite provides happiness, good health, and mental tranquility. It is also seen to be a sign of family harmony and success.
Festivals in Mithilanchal are more than just religious, social, and sentimental. Some people enjoy the annual ritual of flying kites on the auspicious occasion of Dashain’s main celebration. This celebration is well known for its health advantages.
People flying kites today reap the benefits of the sunrays as the season transitions to a more relaxing and delicious one, working as a remedy for the human body, which becomes diseased and dry during the summer.
When a person flies a kite in the sun, the body is exposed to UV rays, which kills bacteria and eliminates insanity. Dasain is a religious festival that is observed in Nepal and India as a pleasant and pleasurable occasion.
The state of Gujarat is the epicenter of this event, which is known as UTTARAYAN. Gujarat Tourism hosts an annual international kite festival that attracts visitors from all over the world.
During this time, the calm blue sky is speckled with thousands of colorful kites of various shapes, sizes, and designs. Tukkals (illuminated box kites) are flown into the sky at night, typically strung together on a single line, creating a mesmerizing sight.
Kite-flying is also a significant aspect of religious rituals as an adoration to the Sun God, thanking him for the crops’ richness. A special 24-hour kite market opens in Ahmedabad the weekend before the event.
The kites are a sight to behold from sunrise to sunset, as people shift their base to rooftops, kites and reels in hand. During ‘kite wars,’ shouts of Kai Po Che are typical as soon as one gets to sever another kite string, signaling victory. In Nepal’s blue and clear sky, kite fliers are also engaged in a tug of war.
If they win, they relish their success. They yell ‘changa chait’ in Nepali at a high volume. People in Mithilanchal, particularly children, are ecstatic if they win this competition and yell out loudly to convey their excitement. Every year, Nepalese businesspeople import ready-made kites from India, their neighbor.
They also get lattais from there, which they use to cut the strings of other kites soaring across the sky. Locals are now making different sizes of kites and kite flowers based on the preferences of the purchasers.
Making of Kites
Kites are composed of bamboo and lightweight paper. Abrasives (a particular blend of glass powder and rice paste) are added to the cotton string MANJHA to make it strong and sharp enough to cut other kite strings. Manjha is the best string to utilize in this situation. Kites range in size from nine inches to three feet.
Multi-colored kites are now available, and when flown, they make a beautiful spectacle in the sky. Every year, the world’s largest kite festival takes place in Paris, France’s capital.
Mithila paintings once adorned and drawn kites once represented Maithili culture in a global kite flying competition held in Paris. Ramesh Shreshtha, a Nepali poet located in Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, deserves credit. In that international competition, he represented Nepal. Mr Shrestha entrusted me with overseeing these types of kites from Janakpur, the Mithila arts and crafts capital.
Mr Ajit Sah, a well-known artist and the owner of Mithila Arts and Crafts in Janakpur, was commissioned to paint Mithila artwork on three dozen kites and deliver them to me. I handed them on to Mr Shreshtha, who happens to be my next-door neighbor in Kathmandu. First and foremost, Mithila painting was given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to soar across the skies of Paris.
Precaution: One of my villagers, who loved kite flying and used to fly kites in the mid–day light throughout the autumn season, got one-eyed as a result of repeatedly focusing one of his eyes on kite flying.
(The author is culture expert)