The story of the kite

Clean Monday is the last day of Carnival and the beginning of the fasting period before Easter.
This day the sky is filled with colorful kites, as it is the custom on this day. The kite-flying and its’ dance on the wind, high up in the blue sky, indicates the lifting and the purification of the soul after the celebration of Carnival. Although the kite has the leading role in Greek “Koulouma”(as the day is called), we should remember that its’ home is the … The Far East.

kites

Flying of kites for good luck

The history of the kite has deep roots in ancient China with more than 2400 years of life. The people of the East used their kites in religious ceremonies in order to chase away evil. They believed that the higher the kite goes, the luckier they will be. The kites were decorated with wishes and desires and the people let them go up. The higher they go the more the gods listened to their wishes. They often attached small flutes to the kites which whistled with the passing of air and thus drove away evil.
Today one of the most spectacular celebrations with kites which ”dance” in the air is performed -since thousands of years- in Northern India in order to welcome spring.

Kites in ancient China

The emperor of China Wen Hsoun did flight experiments with kites which were made of bamboo and he used his prisoners as passengers. The lucky ones, those who survived, won their freedom.
There is information that during the Han Dynasty, kites were used for topographical reasons. One general wanted to conquer the palace, but it was very difficult. That’ s why he thought to open a tunnel which would allow him to walk with his soldiers under the palace. Not knowing the exact length for the tunnel, it is said that he used a kite which was released at the one end of the tunnel. He let the kite fly over the palace until the exact point that interested him. Thus, the rope formed an imaginary triangle and then measuring the length of the rope with simple calculations, he calculated the length of the tunnel.

Kites in Greece from the antiquity until now. 

The emperor of China Wen Hsoun did flight experiments with kites which were made of bamboo and he used his prisoners as passengers. The lucky ones, those who survived, won their freedom.
There is information that during the Han Dynasty, kites were used for topographical reasons. One general wanted to conquer the palace, but it was very difficult. That’ s why he thought to open a tunnel which would allow him to walk with his soldiers under the palace. Not knowing the exact length for the tunnel, it is said that he used a kite which was released at the one end of the tunnel. He let the kite fly over the palace until the exact point that interested him. Thus, the rope formed an imaginary triangle and then measuring the length of the rope with simple calculations, he calculated the length of the tunnel.

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