Bali Kites Festival 2017

Annual Festival of Traditional Kites in Bali

The Bali Kites Festival is a kiting event that take place annually between July and August (sometimes through October), notably at the start of the windy season in Bali. The main festival takes place along the eastern coast of Padanggalak, just north of Sanur, and is usually held near the end of June and confirmed following favourable weather. Hundreds of competing kite troupes gather from all over the island to pilot their traditional kites, alongside international teams with modern kites in various shapes and sizes.

What started off as a seasonal agrarian festival thanking the heavens for abundant crops and harvests, has become a competitive ground for communal ‘banjar’ youth groups who send their ‘sekaa layangan’ kite teams to participate and win prize money. A competition is also usually held for ‘new creation’ kites, which may include detailed three-dimensional figures and unusual designs, ranging from Hindu gods, cars and motorbikes, to mascots and brand sponsors. A gamelan orchestra accompanies each troupe, adding to the joyous spirit of the Bali Kites Festival and the dramatic take-offs.

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The Balinese traditional kites are gigantic, measuring up to four metres in width and 10 metres in length. Some other versions, such as the ‘janggan’ type have impressive flowing ribbon tails often reaching 100 metres or more in length. Jointly built at the communal ‘banjar’ village halls all over Bali, skilled youths, supervised by elders, craft bamboo frameworks for weeks up to the major event. Lightweight fabrics are selected according to an agreed-upon colour scheme and some are fitted with intricately carved heads. The final results await transport – usually by truck and requiring special escort along small Balinese roads – towards the Bali Kites Festival flying grounds on Padanggalak Beach.

The ‘bebean’ type is the most common design with a traditional outline of a fish, and is the common ‘giant kite’ of Bali that dominates the skies. The ‘janggan’ somewhat resembles birds with shorter and rounder wings and their long flowing ‘kedeber’ ribbon tails often outshine the kite’s body once airborne. In each competition, the task of assembling and flying the entailing ‘kedeber’ is major challenge for the piloting troupe that normally comprises a dozen or so boys and men. Categories to win include ‘best launch’, ‘best design’ and ‘longest flight’. Occasionally, the kites descend over nearby rice paddies, and team members must dash onto the fields to retrieve their painstakingly built kites.

Although the skies over Padanggalak are dominated by these flying giants during the Bali Kites Festival, you’ll witness kite-filled skies on any given day between June and August - every year. At this windy time of the year, the skies over Bali are just as elaborately decorated as any Balinese procession. Some kites are even fitted with sound instruments in the form vibrating bows called ‘guwang’, which generate a resonating hum that can be heard from far. Enjoy Bali’s windy season sights and sounds!

Don't worry if you missed out on the main opening festival events in July. There are various side events and competitions to witness throughout the second half of the year, which are also highlighted annually as part of the festivity. Following is the tentative line-up of 2017 Bali kite events, as announced earlier in the year by the Bali Kites Association or Pelangi (Persatuan Layang-Layang Indonesia, Bali chapter).

*Dates may shift following favourable weather conditions.

 

Main Event: 

  1. Bali Kite Festival: 3-5 July, Padanggalak Beach, Sanur

 

Side Events:

  1. Pitik Kite Festival: 1-2 July, Pedungan, Denpasar 
  2. Dangin Peken Dhananjaya Cup Kite Festival: 22-23 July, Mertasari Beach, Sanur
  3. Belega Kite Competition: 18-20 September, Belega, Gianyar
  4. Pelangi Gianyar Kite Competition: 31 July - 2 August (or 8-9 August), Padanggalak Beach, Sanur
  5. Sanur Kite Competition (Sanur Village Festival): 3-6 (or 28-30) August, Mertasari Beach, Sanur
  6. Denpasar Kite Competition: 7-9 August, Padanggalak Beach, Sanur
  7. Biaung Kite Competition: 12-13 (or 14-15) August, Padanggalak Beach, Sanur
  8. Banjar Banjaran Kite Competition: 17 August, Abiansemal, Badung
  9. Klungkung Kite Competition: 17 August, Klungkung
  10. Pelangi Denpasar Kite Competition: 19-20 August, Denpasar
  11. Tanjung Kite Competition: 21-23 (or 26-27) August, Sanur
  12. Pelangi Badung Kite Competition: 2-3 September, Padanggalak Beach, Sanur
  13. Penatih Kite Competition: 4-6 September, Penatih, Denpasar
  14. Pelangi Tabanan Kite Competition: 9-10 (or 18-20) September, Padanggalak Beach, Sanur
  15. Peliatan Kite Competition: 9-10 September, Peliatan, Ubud
  16. Ungasan Kite Competition:  11-13 September, Ungasan, Bukit Peninsula
  17. Namaste Kite Club Kite Competition: 16-17 September, Padanggalak Beach, Sanur
  18. Ganeca Kite Competition: 23-24 September, Tabanan
  19. Bekul Kite Competition: 30 September - 1 October (or 2-4 October), Padanggalak Beach, Sanur
  20. Rockiller Kite Festival: 7-8 October, Padanggalak Beach, Sanur
  21. LPM Kuta Kite Competition: 14-15 October, Kuta
  22. Kukuh Kite Competition: 16-18 October, Marga, Tabanan
  23. Batuyang Kite Competition: 21-22 October, Ubud
  24. Bali International Kite Festival 2017: 23-25 (or 28-29 October), Padanggalak Beach, Sanur

Bali Kites Festival

  • Location: Padanggalak Beach, Sanur and various venues
  • Tel: Pelangi Bali secretariat +62 (0)361 227 610
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