January 15th will be a rather colourful day in
Old City, Dhaka. The annual Kite Flying Festival.
It’s an old tradition, that cable/satellite tv and video games have sadly reduced in its popularity.
Kite flying, and fighting, festivals abound around Asia, and the ancient city of Dhaka, once one of the great cities of ancient Bengal, and now capital of Bangladesh, is no exception. The Festival, dating from the Mughal period up
to 400 years ago, celebrates the arrival of Spring, and is shared across the boundaries of religion.
Anyone familiar with similar festivals around
Asia will not be disappointed. The flat roof tops of higher buildings are crowded with young enthusiasts, of all ages!
The art lies not merely in the design and construction of the fragile aircraft, but in the ruthless decimation of other enthusiasts kites.
Although ‘doing it yourself’ has been a traditional part of the festival, plenty of the shops around colourful Hindu Street can be found offering ready made kites for sale in the days before battle commences.
When the sky begins to fill with the colourful pieces, the experts know that the cord attached to each are sharp with razor blades, and the maneuvering of the kites is designed to cross the cord of others and sever them, bringing them down. This annual spectacle of aerial combat is designed to thrill, not only the youthful participants, but spectators too.
On January 15th, find access to a rooftop in the
, and enjoy the dogfights and the colourful spectacle. Old City