Have you ever heard the music coming from the air, originated from a floating kite in the sky? Yes, we are talking about “diều sáo”, a traditional game that attracts not only kids but also lures adults.
What is Diều sáo?
Firstly, this is a kind of kite, they are made in a traditional Vietnamese style, with eight ovoid wings attached, plus five bamboo flutes mounted on top and make a pleasing drone when the kite is flying. Children’s kites are often small, simple and covered with paper, while adults’ would be more complex and attached with one or more wind flutes that play melodies as the kites fly.
The shapes of kites are quite diversity, human’s creation has no boundaries so over years, they have produced so many shapes for the kites. You might find the simplest ones looking like butterflies to the giant, complicated one shaped as a dragon.
How to fly them
When the sun is gradually moving to the west, it’s the time for the kites to spread their wings in the sky. Normally 2 people will work together to make the kites soaring into the sky. One person holds the flying string, the other carry the kite to take a run-up ending up by letting the wind lift the kite into the air. Some decades ago, when internet yet to reach every corner in Vietnam, kids and adults in the rural areas used to fly kites in the afternoon as a leisure activity. Every afternoon, the flutes in the air woke up small villages as if there had been a fairy playing the music somewhere inside the floating cloud.
In the past, the image of a children having fun around buffalos and kites could be seen anywhere in the countryside, but unfortunately, the modern life with bunches of homework from school and dozens of tempting offers from the technology take the tradition away from the kids.
But, kites do not just vanish, every year, kite-flying competitions take place in many northern and central provinces in Vietnam. The rules vary from place to place. In general, the most beautiful kite with the most interesting flute melodies wins. In particular, Quang Yen Townlet (Quang Ninh Province) holds a kite-fighting competition: regardless of design, kites that hit or break other kites will win.
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