Why YOU Should Become a Kite Enthusiast

If you think of kites as a whimsical children’s-only activity, you are missing out!

Not only does the flight of a kite express our innocence, but it also offers a sign of hope and freedom for creativity and dreams to soar!

-Anonymous Kite Enthusiast

Have you ever wondered, “Why should I care about kites?” If so, here’s your answer!

kite inspirational quote

The Symbolism of the Kite

Kite enthusiasts enjoy much more than a flight while launching their kite to the skies.  They appreciate the rising symbolism of hope for humanity and spiritual freedom from cares and worries. Kite enthusiasts honor that the kite represents much more than a family activity.

Kite symbolism can be whatever you want it to be. Here are a few examples of kites and their symbolism:

inspirational kite quote, winston churchill, kites rise highest against the wind, not with it

Kites Serve Many Purposes

While the origination of the kite is unknown, the first historical records of kite’s existing depicted them as being used in religious and spiritual practices. After the kite was brought from Buddhist missionaries to Japan, the Japanese started finding more practical purposes for them. One example of how kites were used in Japanese history was in the construction of many shrines and temples. Large kites were used to lift building materials up to workers on higher levels and roofs. Brilliant!

Here are some other ways that we see kites serving many purposes:

  • “Kites have been used for human flight, military applications, science and meteorology, photography, lifting radio antennas, generating power, aerodynamics experiments, and much more!”
  • “Men like Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Wilson used their knowledge of kite flying to learn more about the wind and weather.”
  • Kites are an essential part of kitesurfing, where the surfer hangs onto the kite line connected to a high traction kite, while standing on a surfboard in a body of water.”

The Kite Enthusiast

Many adults are kite enthusiasts and don’t even realize it!

If you enjoy the pure experience of flying a kite, appreciate its finely crafted architecture, understand some of kite symbolism or even have purchased your very own kite from Pete’s Kite Shop; YOU MAY ALREADY BE A KITE ENTHUSIANT!

The Roots of Christmas: Fun Christmas Origin Facts

Reflecting on holidays of the past to bring a tear of joy or pain, cuddling up with a loved one in front of a fire, singing along with the carolers who have surprised your dinner guests, shopping for the perfect gift for that one impossible-to-shop-for friend, cheering up a Grinch, and scrolling through Facebook to find a bit o f holiday cheer are just a few of the ways we celebrate  the holiday season.

American Christmas has been marketed to the whole family as a time for Santa to bring his presents f or the children, Christmas shopping for everyone you know and most importantly, according to many religious folks: A time to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

No matter how you spend your holiday season, enjoy it! In the meantime, here are a few facts about the origins of Christmas :

  • Christians are not the first to have a celebratory holiday during the coldest and darkest period of the winter season.
  • The United States didn’t even declare December 25 as a federal holiday until 1870.
  • “The celebration of Christmas did not become a major Christian festival until the 9th century. Many Christmas traditions, such as decorating trees, started in Germany and later spread to other parts of the world, notably England and the United States.” The first time that Christmas was recorded to have been celebrated as the holiday for the birth of Jesus was in Rome on December 25, 336 A.D.
  • “According to legends that date back to the twelfth century, at Christmas, Krampus appears with a bundle of birch sticks and a basket. If you’ve been bad, he beats you. If you’ve been very bad, he stuffs you in the basket and carries you down to Hell.”

So, no matter the Reason for the Season, go enjoy your holiday 😊

Blessings & Beyond,

Pete Syversen

All About Japanese Edo Kites by Pete’s Kite Shop

Pete @ Pete’s Kite Shop can be found on Etsy!

What is a Japanese Edo Kite and what makes it unique? If you are looking for information on what  makes a Japanese Edo Kite so special, then read on! Remember, an educated shopper is a happy shopper!

What Does “Edo” Mean?

In order to understand what Edo means, it is important to know that the Japanese language uses multiple words to mean the same concepts. The word “Edo” (also referred to or pronounced as “Yedo” or “Yeddo”) also refers to Tokyo or “a floating world.”

Edo is the former name for Tokyo, Japan. Tokyo was the seat of power for the Tokugawa Shogunate, which ruled Japan from 1603 to 1868. Tokyo has grown to become one of the largest cities in the world and is home to an urban culture centered on the notion of a “floating world”.

What is a “Floating World”?

The designs of the Japanese Edo Kite reflect what the Japanese call “a floating world.” The Japanese were very interested in preserving their traditions and histories, along with reflecting their current cultures and struggles. To do this, they depicted the images of Tokyo on their kites.

Japan’s “floating world” was a reference used for only the middle class. The term “floating world” was used to describe only the middle class of Japan. The middle class of Japan frequented many brothels and underground, illegal sites. The “floating world” is often the feature most commonly depicted on Japanese Edo kites.

Japanese Edo Kite Features

A high flying paper creation that climbs to astronomical heights. Japanese Edo kites float gracefully and aerodynamically across the sky with grace and speed! The art depicted on Japanese Edo kites often hand painted, traditionally depicts warriors and symbols of good luck. Edo kites are traditionally painted by artisan masters, like Pete from Pete’s Kite Shop.

Why are Japanese Edo kites unique?

Japanese Edo kites are made with a meticulously designed and hand crafted framework, then hand painted to show the artists tribute to their message. Using artisan designs and inspiring renditions of battles stories and themes as well as symbols and words to tell their story, each Japanese Edo kite is a work of art and one of a kind!

Pete’s Japanese Edo Kites

Pete’s Kite Shop respects and celebrates the Japanese culture by recreating the Japanese Edo kite. Pete’s Kite Shop hold strong to the quality and design format used since ancient times. There is a certain delight in flying a Japanese Edo kite that can take your imagination soaring!

Shop at Pete’s Kite Shop today to get a one of a kind, hand crafted Edo Kite!

History of Kite Battles

The exact date of the origin of kites is unknown, however it’s been claimed that they were first created in China during the 5th century. We do know that by 549 AD, paper kites were being flown in rescue missions and were recorded in the history books. Kites were also used for things such as measuring distances, signaling and communication for military operations, and testing the wind during ancient and medieval Chinese history.

Kites further evolved when they were introduced in India as fighter kites, also known as “patang,” and were flown by the thousands every year in festivals such as Makar Sankranti.

Through either their beauty or functionality or for noting the changing of the seasons, kites eventually made their way to other Asian countries, Europe, the Americas and all around the world. Historians think that kite festivals may have been a part of religious festivals introduced to Japan by Buddhist priests from China and Korea. Kites were still associated primarily with religious purposes and secular activities as late as the 17th century. Kite festivals are popular events all around the world and can vary from smaller local festivals to massive international kite festivals bringing in those from all parts of the globe to show off their colorful flying creations and their magnificent soaring skills.

One of the oldest continuing kite festivals began in March 1929 and is held in Zilker Park in Austin, Texas. One of the largest kite festivals is the one held in Gujarat on western coast of India. This International Kite Festival – Uttarayan which takes place on January 14th of each year, marks the arrival of spring in India and is a historical and traditional event. It is said that the festival signals the end of winter and the beginning of more clement growing weather for crops. This festival begins months and months in advance and can draw as many has a half million people to this part of India.

Japanese Buddhist monks brought kite festivals to Asian cultures based on their religious and historical connotations.

The reasons for kite flying are as different as the individuals that fly them. Coming together in celebration of kites at festivals is the one thing we can all agree upon. For just a brief moment in time, we can step away from our fast paced lives and enjoy the relaxation of our kite flying high in the sky and watch it decorate the sky!