In technical terms, kites are defined as objects that fly solely due to the flow of a fluid medium. The fluid medium could be air or water, but is mostly air, although kites that fly in both mediums do exist. The word “kite” comes from the name of a type of bird belonging to the hawk family. It is known for its graceful and soaring flight, hence the name.
The mechanism of flight in kites is based on the forces of lift and drag. Wind resistance causes the air pressure under the kite to be greater than the air pressure above the kite, causing the kite to rise.
A kite can be divided into 3 major parts: the body (consisting of the larger main area), the line (also called the tail), and the cord that attaches the line to the body.
Kites were first developed in China, circa 200 B.C. References have been made to them which reveal that they were probably invented much earlier. Some of the earliest kites were manufactured from cloth and wood. They streamed out in the wind while attached to cords or flexible wooden rods. Paper was invented around 100 A.D. and was soon adapted for use in kites.
One of their very first uses was to send signals from a distance. The kites were later used for numerous purposes, ranging from religious ceremonies to festivity, celebration, and warfare.
Kite making soon spread from China to Japan, Korea, Myanmar, and Malaysia, regions where kite flying is still an important part of the local culture. From there, this practice expanded to Indonesia, India, and the islands of the Pacific. The kite making technique was then adopted by the Arabs and soon proliferated to North Africa and Europe.
These days, kites are by and largely used for festive and ceremonial purposes. In India and China, there are festivals that are celebrated primarily with kites. One such prominent Indian festival is Makar Sankranti, which witnesses the kites soaring all over the evening skies. The Chinese New Year is also celebrated extravagantly with large-scale kite flying.
Kites can be easily made at home and are also readily available in the market these days. Homemade kites are usually made out of wood and paper or cloth. Mylar is another material which is sometimes used to make kites as well. It is a thin sheet of plastic, also known as polyethylene terephthalate. It is an extremely strong and light material. Commercial kites that are available in the market are generally made of a strong, light plastic such as nylon.
The cords that keep the body of the kite tethered, are usually made of nylon or cotton. For large kites, the line is usually held on a fishing reel that is made of steel.
The Benefits of Kite Flying
Kite flying has some amazing benefits. Surprised? Well, don’t be. For years kite flying has been treated not just as a recreational activity but also a sport due to the health benefits that it provides. Let’s take a look at some of these:
- Nature & Health: Being an outdoor activity, flying kites brings us closer to nature. Getting out of the house and connecting with nature helps in lowering anxiety and depression, thus benefiting one’s mental health immensely.
- Socializing: Kite flying is often done in groups. If not so, kite flying definitely attracts onlookers to cheer due to its mesmerizing beauty, and before you know it, it becomes a beautiful conversation starter – a chance to create memories with your loved ones or make a new friend.
- Mindfulness: Kite flying involves being mindful of your surroundings which in turn fosters awareness in individuals. This awareness comes with its set of benefits such as improved pain management, higher levels of empathy and decreased anxiety and depression. Research has also shown that it is associated with anatomic changes in areas of the brain improving memory, learning, and emotion.
- Eye stimulation: Kite-flying also does wonders for one’s eye health. It helps regulate the eye muscles and nerves better, which resultantly helps alleviate eye fatigue and can prevent myopia.
- Good for the neck & shoulders: Kite flying involves maintaining a lot of concentration. Looking up at the sky and tracking the kite’s movements, which makes one stretch their shoulders and neck is a great exercise for the body. It promotes the flexibility of ligaments and vertebral joints and prevents degenerative changes. This also increases bone metabolism, thus preventing cervical disease.
- Boosts creativity: Kite flying helps in increasing your creative thinking, as it requires you to fly the kite while adapting it to the changes in the wind. Creativity development is also reflected during the kite-making process.
- Reduces stress: Kite flying regenerates energy and has a way of reducing the built-up stress and tension. One is sure to feel rejuvenated post a kite flying session with friends and family.
Now that we know about the benefits, take a look at the following services by Fly360, who are trying to make it easy for you to have your own kite.
To make some really creative kites at home, you can check out this link: How To Make A Homemade Kite. This is a DIY guide for making kites. If you are a real kite enthusiast and enjoyed learning how to make a kite yourself you may want to click on this link. Modern Kite Making Workshop. It has information on great guides and services on managing kites workshop, along with various courses and services they have to offer for the same.
A colorful, gracefully soaring kite is a breathtaking sight as well as a form of self-expression. Kite flying has been highly associated with achieving inner peace and calming one’s self. To put it all in a nutshell, kite flying is a fun and economical activity that has an amazing overall impact on our health, both mental and physical.