Unexpected reason for a traffic jam

“Sorry I was late… a large kite fell off a truck and caused a traffic jam.” – this is not the sort of explanation I could get away with in London.  But here in Bali it is exactly what caused a traffic jam.

Giant kite attached to the vehicle by a bamboo frame

Giant kite attached to the vehicle by a bamboo frame

But this was no ordinary large kite.

These festival going kites (layang layang) are truly gigantic and when one falls off (or flies off! ) the car roof, then two lanes of cars really can come to a halt.

Kites are flexible - you can use them as a sunshade

Kites are flexible – you can use them as a sunshade

Luckily we were on a motorbike and able to zigzag through the mass of vehicles and see the team of young lads as they repositioned and re-tied the wayward kite back onto the roof.

There are a number of kite festivals at this time of year and this one was relatively small – but some of the kites were relatively massive!

Teams of villagers come out in their hundreds for these competitions which are judged, not only on size, shape and how the kite moves/dances across the sky, but also on the noise it makes and the unique character of the competing team.

Kite supporters - making a lot of noise

Kite supporters – making a lot of noise

For example these guys were all wearing the same t shirts and woven coconut leaf hats and were making a lot of noise too – worth an extra point I’m sure.

Now I said the kites can be massive…. well, the longest ones are 100meters!  No wonder it takes many people to handle take off and landing!  This photo gives a good idea of the size of the kite against the motorbikes and flags in the forefront:

Soaring above the crowds

Soaring above the crowds, flags and banners

And below you can see this type of kite, called Janggan, flying on its own as it heads for the clouds.

After the team bring it in for landing they have to pack it away into a rather sizeable bag that reminded me of the kind of bags that balloonists use to carry the hot air balloon – in England they call it an envelope!

Janggan kite - 100 meters long

Janggan kite – 100 meters long

Not so huge, but in the sky as a festival mascot, this one below made us assume that the organisers are reggae fans – by the look of the colours!

Reggae kite

Reggae kite

If you wanna peek at last years kite festival pictures click here.  Happy kite flying!

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1 Comment

  1. Kites… 100 meters long!!!! – see pic below | Julie in Bali

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