Look, up in the sky, is it a bird, is it a plane? Or is it a kite?
The Kite Festival, an Indian tradition usually held in early January to mark the end of winter, the arrival of spring and the imminent new harvest, will grace the skies of Canberra this August.
Event organiser Jay Trivedi says he was inspired to hold the event in Australia given it had such significance for him and his family back home in India.
Oftentimes, the Kite Flying Festival consists of a kite-flying competition in honour of the sun god. In India, kites are often made months in advance, although Jay says this won’t be necessary for the Canberra event. And as with many religious festivals, traditional sweet treats are prepared and shared for the occasion.
There’s plenty of tradition associated with it, but because it’s dedicated to the sun god, it’s also a day to get out and feel the sun on your skin.
Given the Canberra iteration is being held in July, the sun may not be all that strong, but Jay says he encourages everyone to make the most of the occasion anyway.
Jay and a group of friends threw their first kite festival in Sydney a couple of years ago. Since then, it’s only grown.
He said they were initially surprised by how many people came out to share in the experience.
“It’s really beautiful to see all of the kites in the sky. I always say it looks like a rainbow,” he said.
People are encouraged to bring along their own kites, but there will be some kites available on the day and materials available to make your own.
Jay said it would help bring the whole community together and do something a little different.
“Whether you’re an amateur or a pro, you can come down and see what’s happening,” he said.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the festival is being held later than normal, but Jay doesn’t think that will detract from the day.
There will also be plenty of food stalls and games, and rides for kids to enjoy.
“We also try to engage the local community by offering uni students a couple of hours of work,” he said.
A couple of students who worked with the festival last year will also be returning to help out once again.
Due to COVID restrictions, the event will now run from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Sunday, 29 August at EPIC. It’s free to attend, but online registration is compulsory.
More details about the event can be found online.