Thailand’s 11th annual international kite festival will be held March 13th-14th this year at Mrigadayavan Palace , Naresuan Camp , Amphoe Cha-am , . Festivities will be held from 9am to 9pm each day.
Kite flying has a long and distinguished reputation in Thailand, since the Sukhothai and Ayutthaya periods among the royalty as well as ordinary people. However, the Royal Household’s law forbade that no one could fly a kite over the palace; otherwise, punishment by law would be enforced. Although I can’t find a reference to the specified punishment I would bet at the very least you would lose your kite and kite flying privileges for a while.
The Chula-Pakpao kites were created in the Ayutthaya period and the competition had been held until the Rattanakhosin period. King Rama ll was fond of Chula kite fighting with the Pakpao kite of his brother. Westerners compared the Chula kite as a male and Pakpao kite as a female, which was similar to the Thai social value in that period that males dominated female. Kite flying was also the most popular sport in king Rama IV, kite flying at Sanam Luang inside the Dusit Palace, and had a kite flying competition held at Dusit Palace in 1856, where he presided over himself. In the reign of King Rama VI, kite flying was restored as a sport and Phraya Phirom PhaKdi organized a kite flying competition at Sanam Luang. After World war II, the Siam Sport Club held an annual kite flying competition.
The tourism authority of Thailand held the first international kite festival in 1989 and has held the festival every year since then, although in many different arenas from Pattaya to this years event in Phetchaburi province at the Mrigadayavan Palace. The site this year was chosen due to it’s capacity to accommodate many tourists and competitors.
Among the many colorful and beautiful kites being flown the festival will also consist of the many folowing events.
4 regions Thai Kite Flying Shows
International Kite Flying Show
International Night Flying Show
Demonstration and exhibition of Thai Kites
Demonstration of the Chula- Pakpao Kite Fighting
Competition and demonstration of Stunt Kite
Fast kite Flying Contest
Fighting Kite Show
Flat Kite Contest
Invention of creative kites
Kite stall Contest
Kite street market and clinic
Art for children
As well as kite events there will also be a parachute show, a radio controlled airplane show and competition, tours through Mrigadayavan Palace and an energy saving car rally. As with any Thai festival there will be plenty of food and handicraft booths everywhere to keep you occupied as well. This annual event is really one not to be missed and definitely one of the more colorful events of the year.
Below is the official Tourism Authority video showing the kite festival through the years which should give you an idea of the fun in store for you. And for more information on upcoming events in Thailand please check out the Thailand Events Calender.