Tuesday, March 19, 2024

The History of Kites

By Susan G Mathis

Kites have been enchanting the skies for centuries, transcending cultures and borders with their simple yet captivating allure. The history of kites spans millennia, weaving through various civilizations and leaving an indelible mark on human creativity and ingenuity.

The origins of kites are unclear. Some believe that the first kites were invented in China over 2,000 years ago. Legend has it that a simple Chinese farmer tied a string to a bamboo hat to keep it from blowing away in the wind. Inspired by the floating sensation, he added a tail and thus birthed the earliest form of the kite. Early Chinese kites served various purposes, from military signaling to religious ceremonies.

As trade routes opened and cultures intermingled, the kite spread beyond China's borders. Historical records suggest that kites made their way to Japan, Korea, and India by the 7th century. Each culture added its unique twist to the design and purpose of the kite.

In Japan, the "Edo Dako" became a popular kite during the Edo period (1603-1868). These kites were often large, featuring elaborate paintings and designs. Japanese kite flying became an art form, with festivals dedicated to showcasing the creativity and skill of kite makers.

In India, kites took on a different role during religious festivals, especially during the colorful celebration of Makar Sankranti. Kite flying symbolizes the transition of the sun into the northern hemisphere and is a joyous occasion for people of all ages.

Kites reached Europe during the late 16th century, brought back by explorers and traders. Initially viewed as novelties, kites soon captured the imagination of European scientists and inventors. Renowned polymath Benjamin Franklin famously used a kite to demonstrate the electrical nature of lightning in the mid-18th century.

Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, kites found applications in meteorology, photography, and scientific research. Inventors like Alexander Graham Bell experimented with tetrahedral kites to develop the principles of manned flight, laying the groundwork for modern aviation. In a Summer at Thousand Island House, Addi and Liam enjoy flying kites with kids.Top of Form

Do you enjoy flying a kite? Leave your answer or comments on the post below and join me on February 19th for my next post.

Addison Bell has always had an enduring love for children, so she nannies at the renowned Thousand Island House on Staple’s Island? As Addi thrives in her work, she attracts the attention of the recreation pavilion’s manager, Liam Donovan, as well as the handsome Navy Officer Lt. Worthington, a lighthouse inspector, hotel patron, and single father of mischievous little Jimmy. But when Jimmy goes missing, Addi finds both her job and her reputation in danger. How can she calm the churning waters of Liam, Lt. Worthington, and the President, clear her name, and avoid becoming the scorn of the Thousand Islands community?


Susan G Mathis is an international award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands in upstate NY. Susan has been published more than thirty times in full-length novels, novellas, and non-fiction books. She has eleven in her fiction line. Susan is also a published author of two premarital books, stories in a dozen compilations, and hundreds of published articles. Susan lives in Colorado Springs and enjoys traveling the world. Visit www.SusanGMathis.com/fiction for more.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting today. It surely is the right season for flying kites around here, and maybe a bit too good. The wind has been very gusty. I do enjoy flying kites, but often forget that simple pleasure when we take our older grandchildren to the beach. I'll have to start doing that again!