Kite-flying is popular among Thai people from all walks of life especially young children in the countryside. The kite-flying season usually takes place between February and April when the south-west monsoon blows from the Gulf of Thailand and the rice harvesting season is over.
Kite-flying was said to have its origins in China at least 3,000 years ago during the Han Dynasty. The Chinese armies made kites attached with bamboo pipes to fly over the enemy. When the wind passed through the pipes, it made an eerie whistling sound causing the enemy to panic and ran for their lives.
In the early Siamese kingdom of Ayutthaya, kite-flying was so popular that it was prohibited to fly kites over the royal palace as they might damage the architectural spires. Meanwhile, kite-flying gained its highest popularity in the reign of King Rama IV when a royal decree allowed citizens to fly kites at Sanam Luang, opposite the Grand Palace.
To preserve the Summer tradition and promote the tourism industry of the country, kite-flying has now received a greater attention from the authorities. Kite enthusiasts from several countries have even been invited to display their craft and skills in the kite-flying contest held in the country. Several Thai teams also took part in the contest. Spectators were able to see Thai kite fighting contests between the traditional Chula and Pakpao kites as well.
Above all, they are able to discover hundreds of different kinds of kites in a myriad of sizes, colours, shapes and styles flying in the clear Summer sky above the Sanam Luang ground.
Out of the contest, at this time of the year kites, large and small, of every colour, shape and dimension always fill the sky all over the country. They are spinning, floating, soaring, swooping and even crashing to the ground. Grown-ups and children alike enjoy watching the clear sky decorated with extraordinary kites throughout the Summer vacation.