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National Kite Flying Day
February 8th

Originally published in Mom's Favorite Reads eMagazine
February 2021

In a park, the wind rustling through your hair.  On the beach, sand between your toes, a salty mist settling on your face.  In a rural open field, the smell of alfalfa and wildflowers wafting around you.  Anywhere you find open spaces on a windy day, you may also find someone flying a kite.  Young or old, everyone seems to love kites.  Why?  Maybe because it makes us nostalgic — a reminder of simpler times.  Maybe because, after a long, cold winter locked inside, we need a little time outdoors.  Maybe, because they seem a little magical.  The bright colors and unique shapes inspire our creative side while the mechanics stimulate our analytical side.


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All of which might explain National Kite Flying day.  Kites have been around for thousands of years.  In fact, in the 1200s Marco Polo was so intrigued, he brought a Chinese kite back with him to Italy after an expedition. These mystical flying objects weren’t new to China or the South Sea Islands at that time.  Historians can trace kites back to the 5th century where they were used to spy on enemies, send messages, and aid in fishing activities.  In 1752, Benjamin Franklin famously used a kite to demonstrate the electrical nature of lightning. The simple kite inspired inventions such as parachutes and hang-gliders.  Basically, kites have been around for a long time and there’s no indication that’s going to change.

Here are some fun facts about kites you may not know.

  • The longest kite measured 3,394 feet
  • The fastest kite flew at a speed of 120 miles per hour
  • The longest kite trip lasted 180 hours straight
  • A Japanese kite maker reportedly flew 11,284 kites on a single line – the most recorded in history.
  • Kites were used during the Civil War to deliver

So, pack a lunch, head to the beach, a field, or your favorite park.  Escape the stress of the past year for a little while.  As this simple creation sours through the air, let all your worries and the sadness fly away with it.  What do you say… “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” — who else just heard Mary Poppins singing in their head?


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