Kite Festival

Kite festival is held in Dai Hoang village, Hoa Hau commune, Ly Nhan district, Ha Nam.

This is the traditional festival of Dai Hoang village to celebrate the harvest crop and wish for good health, security and prosperity.

festival is celebrated in the inner, outer and middle of the village's communal house. In the front of the communal house, there are a fish pond, a lotus pond, and farther, a field of sandy soil which are dry and plain after the harvest of May. When the kites rise, they are blown by south east wind towards the communal house. They look like a flock of birds flying back to their nests.

There is a big gate in front of the communal house. On the roof of the gate lies a relief of a dragon egg bundle which is the symbol of Viet ancestors. The flagpole is made of ironwood, larger than two-arm length and is placed in a big stone. There is a big bird on the top of the flagpole holding a 20 meter long flag.

All the 14 giaps of the village take part in kite contest, each giap has its own design. The preparation of making kite begins in the eleventh lunar month of the previous year. Old men usually take long, smooth old bamboos whose leaves have already dropped out and then cut them out to make kite frames. The frames then are put on the smoking-shelf to be dryer until the next fifth lunar year. In the fourth lunar month, resin of young persimmons is taken to stick paper to the made frames. The bigger string is made of silk cords, smaller string is made of threads. A large spindle with two wheels at two ends is also made.

All kites in Dai Hoang village are flat and diamond-shaped. They fly up gently and quickly, and fall down as fast as a sword thrusting through the ground.
In the morning of the 15th of the fifth lunar month, contest of big kites begins. First, a roll of drumbeats and gong sound. The board of examiners and candidates wear nice clothes with a scarf on their head, long shirt, pantaloons, and a five-color belt. Each team has 3 members, one of them holds kite string, one controls the kite, the other throws the kite up. When all candidates gather in the field, the board of examiners light joss-sticks to mark the starting time. Then a roll of drumbeats raises, loudspeaker speaks, and kites fly up. The controller has to pull the string so that the kite raises gradually. When it is filled with wind, it flies up and stands in the air. It becomes smaller till it looks like a leave. Then another roll of drumbeats raises and the loudspeaker says "Hello, hello, please connect all the kite strings together. We will start evaluating now". All candidates then gather. Examiners discuss to mark the kites. After that, candidates are allowed to land their kites. At the height of 30 m off the land, kites are controlled to dive as an arrow and stand upright on the ground. After finishing everything, candidates come back to the ground of the communal house to hear the result.

Although the contest finishes, candidates and audience still feel excited. They feel as if they were flying with the kites in the sky and feel the anxiety of candidates when waiting for the result. Those rare minutes help people to escape from normal life to get involved in spiritual values and totally integrate into the community. The demand for community integration of Vietnamese has never stopped though exists in various types. For that reason, festivals have a great attraction to everybody.