The Bali Kites Festival is a series of kiting events that take place annually between July and August at the start of the windy season. The scene of hundreds of kites up in the blues skies is something not to be missed!
The festival opens at the end of July, with main events taking place along the eastern coast of Padanggalak, just north of Sanur. Hundreds of competing kite troupes gather from all over the island to pilot their traditional kites, alongside international teams with modern kites in various shapes and sizes. What started off as a seasonal agrarian festival thanking the heavens for abundant crops and harvests, has become a competitive ground for public ‘banjar’ youth groups who send their ‘sekaa layangan’ kite teams to participate.
A gamelan orchestra accompanies each troupe, adding to the joyous spirit of the Bali Kites Festival and the drama of take-off and landing sequences. The Balinese traditional kites are gigantic and have evolved into increasingly bombastic proportions over the years, measuring up to four metres in width and 10 metres in length. Some kites are even fitted with sound instruments in the form vibrating bowls called ‘guwang’, which generate a resonating hum that can be heard from far. Bali Kite Festival opens for three days from 22nd to 24th of July on Padanggalak Beach in Sanur.■