Pangandaran International Kite Festival 2016

Butterfly train kite - one of the kites flown at Pangandaran International Kite Festival 2016.
Butterfly train kites – one of the kites flown at Pangandaran International Kite Festival 2016.

This weekend I went to Pangandaran for the Pangandaran International Kite Festival 2016. The trip was unscheduled. I decided to go on the spur of the moment after learning of the event from a friend about four days earlier.

Kite festival is a colourful event and I thought it would be a good chance to take photographs of a rare event like this (pssssst …. I had never been to a kite festival before, that’s why this event sounded even more attractive to me).

Chilren admiring colourful parachute-like rotating kite at the festival.
Chilren admiring colourful parachute-like rotating kite at the festival.

Pangandaran is about 250 kilometres away from Bandung and it takes about six or seven hours of driving or bus ride. I decided to drive. It had been a while since I had driven out of town for leisure. I wanted to enjoy the trip as much as the event I wanted to photograph.

I left home at about 3 pm on Friday and arrived there at about 10. The seven hour drive was fun. It was cloudy when I started the trip and it began to rain heavily when I reached Nagreg. The rain continued all the way until I got to the city of Banjar at about 6 or 7 o’clock. The rain made the trip all the more exciting – the twisting and winding roads through the beautiful mountainous areas of East Priangan were quite challenging to navigate; the mist and fog and the small towns and villages I passed were on themselves a treat to the eyes and senses.

Different kinds of kites were flown at the festival. The rainbow colours in this one are very eye-catching.
Different kinds of kites were flown at the festival. The rainbow colours in this one are one of the most attractive.

I was told that Pangandaran International Kite Festival was an annual event that had been held annually for several years now. This year it’s held as part of the 4th anniversary celebration of the formation of Pangandaran Regency, the newest regency within the province of West Java. The event was initially scheduled in July but was postponed until 14 – 15 of October. I don’t know the reason for the postponement. July should have been a better time for a kite festival considering the season and weather.

I found this ‘kaki lima’ (street vendor) cart kite very amusing. I saw it being carried into the arena but didn’t see it flying.
Kite with garuda head ornament brought by the Balinese participants.
Kite with garuda head ornament brought by Balinese participant.

Frankly speaking, I was quite apprehensive about the weather when I set out on the journey. I was afraid that it was going to be rainy on the days of the festival. A rainy day would definitely ruin a kite festival (I could not imagine flying a kite on wet day). It had been an extremely wet week in Bandung the week before, and checking the Weather Channel just before I left, I learned that Saturday and Sunday (the days of the festival) would also see Pangandaran area cloudy with a good chance of rain in the afternoon. Luckily the forecast was inaccurate. There was a light rain in the evening on Saturday but otherwise the whole day and Sunday morning the weather was fine.

Members of Singapore Kite Association participating in the festival.
Members of Singapore Kite Association participating in the festival.
Kite drawing and colouring contest was also held for children on the sideline of the festival.
Kite drawing and colouring contest was also held for children on the sideline of the festival.
Children's kite colouring works.
Children’s kite colouring works.

From the flags I saw at the venue – the Ketapang Doyong field in eastern beach of Pangandaran – six countries were represented in the festival: Finland, Poland, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, dan Macau (China). Participants also came from other parts of Indonesia like Jakarta, Bali, and Central Java.┬áThe event was not as big as I had thought it would be. But it was generally still quite a fun and great event.

 

 

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