Kites that make music (dieu sao)
flying is popular throughout the year in Viet Nam but especially so in
summer. People of different ages make kites of many shapes, sizes and
kites are often small, simple and covered with paper, while adults'
kites may be more complex, cloth-covered, and feature one or more wind
flutes that play melodies as the kites fly.|
A typical adult's
kite has four parts: the body, the steering string, the flying string
and flutes. The frame is made of the smooth outer bamboo stalk and is
well polished. Kite-makers shape bamboo straps into a crescent two to
three metres long and one metre wide. After that, they cover the frame
with pieces of cotton cloth or carefully glued paper. If one half of the
kite is heavier than the other, the steering string will help balance
it. This string also serves lo direct flight and protect the kite wings
from breaking if the wind is too strong. The flying string is also made
of bamboo and can be as long as 100m to 150m. Young bamboo straps the
size of chopsticks are tied together, then boiled in water or even in
traditional Chinese medicine and salt so that the string becomes soft
Kites not only attract people by their shapes and
colours but also by their flutes. Flutes of different sizes and
materials can make the sound of birds, car horns, gongs or music. The
mouth of the flute must be skillfully carved so that it can properly
receive the wind and create the desired sound.
villagers build more sophisticated kites in the shape of phoenixes,
butterflies and dragons. They replace thick bamboo strings with thinner
bamboo or plastic rope. Modern kites are very light and cost little
since the materials to make them are readily available.
often fly kites in the late afternoon as the sun begins to set.
Normally, two people fly one kite. One person holds the flying string
while the other takes the kite and runs into the wind until the wind
lifts the kite.
The two may keep the kite high in the sky from day to day, even from summer to autumn.
year, kite-flying competitions take place in many northern and central
provinces. The rules vary from place to place. In general, the most
beautiful kite with the most interesting flute melodies wins. However,
Quang Yen Townlet (Quang Ninh Province) holds a kite-fighting
competition: regardless of design, kites that hit or break other kites