Bali Kites Festival 2018
The Bali Kites Festival is an annual festival held all around the island of Bali between the months of July and August and is a sight to behold! All the banjars and wider communities from various towns and villages in Bali band together to send their best kite fliers and kites to compete in the festival.
The festival originally started as a seasonal festival, giving thanks to the heavens and the gods for abundant crops and harvests. Since then, the festival has turned into a sport and the winning team receives a money prize. The beginning of July marks both the windy season and the tourist season.
The kites are stunning – measuring up to 10 metres in length, with 100-metre-long tails and brightly coloured. Building the kites is a big event in itself, with the villages starting to create them weeks and sometimes even months before the big festival in their halls. Each community decides on a colour scheme together and then pick out the lightweight materials to start creating. A lot of the kites resemble various animals and objects from nature, such as fish, birds and leaves.
There are even kites that have a musical instrument built into them called ‘guwang’. This is a bow that vibrates, making a low hum that travels far and wide.
The building of the kite is supervised by the village elders and the younger members do the hard work. When the work is completed, a truck picks up the kites and drives them the festival flying grounds on Padanggalak Beach, just north of Sanur. The kite flying group is usually a dozen boys and men and there are a few categories to enter into; ‘best launch’, ‘best design’ and ‘longest flight’. The Bali Kites Festival is open to local, national and international teams.
During the months of the Bali Kites Festival, if you look up into the sky over Pandanggalak, you can see kites floating and flying all over the place. It looks like a Balinese procession you would see happening on the ground, but in the air instead. Besides the main event held on Pandanggalak Beach, there are side events happening all over the island during the festival period.
Of course, depending on the weather, the dates may change, but for now, below are the various events and dates around the island:
Opening Ceremony: 3-5 July, Padanggalak Beach, Sanur
Closing Ceremony: 23-25 October Padanggalak Beach, Sanur
Pitik Kite Festival: 1-2 July, Pedungan, Denpasar
Dangin Peken Dhananjaya Cup Kite Festival: 22-23 July, Mertasari Beach, Sanur
Pelangi Gianyar Kite Competition: 31 July – 2 August, Padanggalak Beach, Sanur
Sanur Kite Competition: (Sanur Village Festival) 3-6 August, Mertasari Beach, Sanur
Denpasar Kite Competition: 7-9 August, Padanggalek Beach, Sanur
Biaung Kite Competition: 12-13 August, Padanggalek Beach, Sanur
Banjar Banjaran Kite Competition: 17 August, Abiansemal, Badung
Klungklung Kite Competition: 17 August, Klungklung, Pelangi
Denpasar Kite Competition: 19-20 August, Denpasar
Tanjung Kite Competition: 21-23 August, Sanur
Pelangi Badung Kite Competition: 2-3 September, Padanggalak Beach, Sanur
Penatih Kite Competition: 4-6 September, Penatih, Denpasar
Pelangi Tabanan Kite Competition: 9-10 September, Padanggalak Beach, Sanur
Peliatan Kite Competition: 9-10 September, Peliatan, Ubud
Ungasan Kite Competition: 11-13 September, Ungasan, Bukit Peninsula
Namaste Kite Club Kite Competition: 16-17 September, Padanggalak Beach, Sanur
Belega Kite Competition: 18-20 September, Belega, Gianyar
Ganeca Kite Competition: 23-24 September, Tabanan
Bekul Kite Competition: 30 September – 1 October, Padanggalak Beach, Sanur
Rockiller Kite Festival: 7-8 October, Padanggalak Beach, Sanur
LPM Kuta Kite Competition: 14-15 October, Kuta
Kukuh Kite Competition: 16-18 October, Marga, Tabanan
Batuyang Kite Competition: 21-22 October, Ubud
Check online every few weeks to stay up to date with any changing dates.