Kites in Love

February is the ideal month to celebrate Kites in Love, since we also observe Valentine’s Day. You may be wondering, “What do kites have to do with being in love?” The answer is simple:

Kites can express anything you want them to, including the affections of love.

Pete's Kite Shop, Kites in Love, Red Heart Kite Flying

There are so many ways that our culture celebrates Valentine’s Day. No one way is the right activity to engage in with your lover on this day. Nor do you have to limit your expressions of love towards intimate partners. Show love to everyone this Valentine’s Day and don’t forget to shop at Pete’s Kite Shop!

Have you been looking for a way to share some kite fun with your loved ones?

Here are some great ideas for sharing kites with the ones you love:

Fly a Kite

Lovers string their kite tails and allow their sails to blow in the wind. As kites criss-cross across the sky, a new imagination and love is brought to life in the minds of the lovers. Love has been born.

Flying a kite with a loved one on a breezy day is a perfect way to share a freeing and hopeful experience with a partner. Not only can you run and play like children as you send your flier into the wind, but you can also discuss hopes and dreams in the quiet of your very own world.

Kites have many purposes, so don’t forget the purpose of sharing a special moment. Make a memory, and cherish it as priceless.

Build A Kite

Being an adult in love on Valentine’s Day means hearts, chocolates and flowers, among many other traditional staples for this Day for Lovers. However, it’s not just the adults who are encouraged to partake in the fun.

Building a kite with a child you love on Valentine’s Day is the perfect way to spend the day!

Pete's Kite Shop, Kid Flying a Kite, Kites and Children

Here is a guide to building your very own kite at home with your child! Remember, children want to spend time with you. Whether your kite is successful at flying or not, the point is to just spend time in imagination with your young Valentine.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

There are so many different ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Whether you involve kites or not, be sure to enjoy this special day with the ones you love. Spring is on it’s way and you will be  presented with many opportunities to show some Kite Love soon!

So have a great Valentine’s Day and stop by Pete’s Kite Shop again!

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

How Do I Shop for My Perfect Kite?

There are so many sizes, shapes, colors, styles and options when it comes to choosing your perfect kite! The hardest decision to make when shopping for a kite is to choose a piece of art personal to the buyer. After all, this kite will allow for imagination to go wild when in the right hands. Pete from Pete’s Kite Shop wants to help you choose your perfect match in a kite! Contact Pete @ Pete’s Kite Shop today to find your perfect kite!

Kite Tails Add Even More Fun!

Kite tails can be added to any kite to add eye appeal and adjust speed and direction of the kite, although tails are not necessary to fly a kite. It is best to do some research before purchasing a kite, especially if it is your first kite. Also, there are many design factors that come into the equation. Ranging from single, dual and quad line style kites, your choice in configurations area endless! Even the most experienced flyer has a big task in deciding on the right kite.

Image result for why are kite tails added to a kite
Kite tails are important for a kite to fly in the desired direction working with and against the wind.

Basic Types of Kites

There are three basic types of kites: a single line kite, a stunt kite, and a power kite. Read on to learn some basic information about all three basic types of kites, courtesy of Pete’s Kite Shop! Remember, kites are a piece of art, so every piece will have different meaning and value depending o n the eye and feel of the beholder.

Single Line Kites

Single line kites are the easiest type of kite to fly. The more complex the design, the more skill is required for the kite to fly. One example of an easy kite to fly is the “Charlie Brown” triangle design. Single line kites are not just for a novice, there is a grand nostalgia in flying a simple design!

Stunt Kites

Stunt kites require more skill to fly than single line kites. Stunt kites are very quick as well as responsive. Make sure when shopping for a kite that you get one as indestructible as possible. Stunt kites crash often at high speeds. Therefore, they need to be crafted for an extreme level of abuse. This factor can make it very expensive.  If you really dig stunts, lean towards a ballet style kite, they will float and dance to your every command!

Power Kites

Just as the name implies, power kites generate power as they are some of the largest most powerful kites available. Do not launch giant power kites into the wind – you could get injured! The best advice Pete’s Kite Shop can suggest is to ask lots of questions but remember people can be biased and partial to their favorite brand. In the end, use your own best judgment, as that will serve you the most good.

How Do I Find My Perfect Kite?

Contact Pete’s Kite Shop today and Pete will help answer questions and provide you with the perfect kite today!

Tell Me More About Japanese Edo Kites!

Rokkaku Kite, Finished Dimensions, Pete's Kite Shop, Black and  White Design, 6 Foot
The dimensions of a 6 foot Rokkaku kite.

In the last Pete’s Kite Shop blog, you learned about how Japanese Edo Kites have represented Japanese history in a “floating world.” Here, you can take your education further and read up on how Japanese Edo Kites are created!

A Little “Kite” History

A Japanese dictionary dated 981 A.D.  was the first to record the Japanese word for “kite.” In the dictionary, the characters “kami” and “Tobi” were used: Meaning “Paper Hawk.” This suggests that the first kites were bird shaped. Absorbing most of the Chinese culture, the Japanese developed their own distinct kite designs and traditions. In older Japanese traditions, kites were also used to lift heavy items to high areas of construction for buildings and temples.

Image result for edo japanese kite traditions

The Edo Kite Comes to Life

Handcrafting a Japanese Edo Kite is a delicate process that requires a Master Kite Maker to utilize a great deal of care. First, handmade Edo kites are created with a meticulously designed framework. Every detail must be taken into account as the structure of the kite begins to come to life. Next, the kite is hand painted to show the artist’s tribute to their theme.

Japanese Edo kites are painted with a style reminiscent of Japanese calligraphy, utilizing ink in thick and thin patterns. The patterns depict symbols, characters and ukiyo-e prints. A ukiyo-e print is an image of artistic themes, scenes, symbols of luck, historic stories, tales, etc.

Pete: Edo Kite Maker

A flat, bowed, bamboo frame covered in mulberry paper make up the components of the Edo Kites offered by Petes Kite Shop. These kites represent the traditional style of Japanese Edo kites: True to the originals as expected!

Shop at Pete’s Kite Shop today to get your “one-of-a-kind” Japaense Edo kite today!

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!

Introduction to Kite Battles

As far as we can tell, kite battles come from the origins of the kite. However, different regions hold different styles of kite fighting more traditional than others.  Depending on where you are in the world, kite fighting will hold it’s own rich history locally.

There are many different styles that can be applied to use in a kite battle, however a fighter kite is usually small and highly maneuverable. Its string is partly coated with powdered glass, sharp sand, ground pottery, or even knife blades. The kite flyer attempts to bring down his opponent’s kite by cutting its line. It takes skillful maneuvering to cross other kite lines to cut them. In Japan today, the Nagasaki fighters are the best known participants in this type of competition.

Pete has attended kite festivals as a part of his growing passion and love for kites. The following images were taken by Pete himself!