ite flying or Patang Baazi is a most popular cultural sport of India from the
time unknown. Some
history of Kites dates back to the days of
Mahabharat. In early days Kites were used in receiving messages and
measuring distances during wars.
In Hindi, Kite is called
Patang and the string with which it is flown is
called Manjha. The wood and bamboo roll on which the string is wound is called
a Charkhi or Hujka. The kites are given different names depending upon the
color combination and the design. Names like Danda, Pari, Chand Tara, Shakkar
Para, Chhapan Chhuri, Adhiya, Tiranga, Patiyal are common.
| Romantic verses in
Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi are sometimes inscribed on the Patangs to send
messages to the beloved on whose roof the kite is flown.
Kite fighting', which involves trying to cut the string
of each other's kites, is the most interesting aspect
of kite flying. It is called Patang Baazi in Hindi.
The Indian fighter kites are of medium size normally from
1 to 4 feet in across, made of special thin paper. The kite
is flown with specially made thread called Manjha,
which is the most important thing in kite flying and many
precautions are taken to prepare it. A paste made of glue
and finely powdered glass is spread on the thin cotton thread
in a special way to give that "cutting edge"
to the twine, required to cut the string of other
People use necks of bottles or tapes to cover their fingers as the sharp Manjha
can cut their fingers while flying Kites.
In towns and cities of north and west India, kite flying is a craze. People
fly their kites mostly from the roofs of their houses. At some places Kites
are also flown from open grounds. Being a fun sport for all times, Kites are
flown throughout the year. However there are some special occasions, on which
|involves himself in Patang Baazi. These occasions include
Makar Sankranti, Basant Panchami, Raksha Bandhan, and Independence Day.
Basant Panchami is one of the biggest
festivals of North India.
It heralds both the approach of the harvest and the end of
winter. This spring festival is celebrated by flying
kites, mainly of yellow colour, which represents the ripening
mustard in the fields. From the morning onwards, the roofs
of almost every house become full of young and old keeping
their kites afloat. By early afternoon, the sky becomes peppered
with kites of different colours and sizes. The fun of Basant
Panchami does not preclude the intense competition that is
a unique north Indian phenomenon - cutting each
kite lines. Each time a kite's lifeline is severed, a cheer, "Bo-Kata" (loosely translated as "a kite
cut off"), is sent up by the victor.
Gujarat and other western
states the change in the direction of winds on Makar Sankranti is
marked by thousands of colourful kites of all patterns and dimensions,
which dot the blue sky. Besides the kite flying competitions, the major
attraction of the festival is the special kites
paper lamps that fill the night sky with myriad
cuisine, exhibitions of handicraftsand folk art add to the
Kite flying has contributed to the composite culture and harmony of India.
It has also promoted national integration. Making a kite is an art and
flying it is a fine art! Have you ever tried flying a kite?