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Hue kite flying, an art of puppetry on air

Like everything found in Huế, the popular culture is mingled with royal culture and vice versa. Flying kites is no exception. For the local farmers and commoners, flying kites is an entertainment, for the aristocrat circles, it is a way to express their wishes to heaven, their high-flying culture. But there is one thing in common and above all, flying kite is a kind of performing puppet show on air, an interesting form of storytelling.

The origin of Hue art of kite flying

Nonone knows exactly the origin of Huế kites, some says more than three hundreds years ago. But it was certain that flying kites were a children game in the countryside, during summer days. In their primitive forms, there were the bow-shopped kites, the bat-shaped kites, or the wall-shaped kites. Children used paper or votive paper, pasted it on bow-shaped bamboo frames, added wriggling and pendulous tails to them then tossed them high into the sky together with all their childish passions and wild dreams. When kites entered the royal palace, it became an elite hobby favored by the aristocracy and royalty under Nguyễn dynasty. It was transformed in different shapes and size, wearing an accented imperial soul when performing among royal circles. Kites were also flown during annual royal ritual to enhance the solemnity and abundance of ceremonies and to create an occasion for people to enjoy this flying and intellectual pleasure.

Nowadays, flying kites is still a favorite entertainment of all Huế children and adults alike, amateurs and professionals. The kites have seen much evolution in form-making art with many attractive items and subjects, flying and storytelling techniques.

Where can we try the art of Hue kite flying

During summer or grand Festival, the sky in front of the Citadel and the Royal Flag Tower is painted with harmonious colors and sounds by a parade of kites: butterfly, phoenix, peacock, centipede, dragon, fairy and princess, even batman and Sun Wu K’ung and other kites to interpreting different legend and fairy tales.

If you travel to Huế, and look for an in-depth hands-on experience of making and flying kites with skillful artisan, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@slowtravelhue.com for special arrangement. The experience lasts about 2-4 hours, with interactive lesson at his home then fun time flying kites (if weather permits) on the Citadel courtyard. Keep a your handmade traditional kite as a “Souvenir de Hue

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