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Gabriel Montenegro
Gabriel Montenegro

The Spiritual and Aesthetic Beauty of Balinese Kites: How Layang Layang Connects with the Gods

Layang Layang Kite Flying: A Fun and Creative Activity

Kite flying is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors, express your creativity, and have fun with your friends and family. But did you know that there is a special type of kite that has a unique name and history? It's called layang layang, and it's one of the most popular kites in Asia. In this article, we will explore what layang layang is, what are its benefits, and what are some of the best kite festivals around the world where you can see or fly these amazing kites.

What is Layang Layang?

Layang layang is a Malay word that means kite. But it's not just any kite. It's a type of kite that has a distinctive shape, design, and function.

layang layang kite flying

The meaning and origin of the word

The word layang layang comes from the Malay verb layang-layangan, which means to soar or glide. It also refers to a bird or a bat that flies high in the sky. The word was used to describe kites because they resemble flying animals and they can soar gracefully in the wind.

The types and features of layang layang kites

Layang layang kites come in various shapes and sizes, but they usually have a flat or slightly bowed surface with one or more tails. Some common types of layang layang kites are:

  • Wau: A large diamond-shaped kite with intricate patterns and long tails. It's a traditional Malaysian kite that represents cultural identity and pride.

  • Layangan bebean: A giant fish-shaped kite that can reach up to 10 meters long. It's a traditional Indonesian kite that symbolizes prosperity and fertility.

Patanjali: A rectangular kite with a curved top Patanjali: A rectangular kite with a curved top and a long tail. It's a traditional Indian kite that represents the philosophy and teachings of Patanjali, the founder of yoga.

Patanjali kites are usually made of paper and bamboo, and they have a colorful design that features the image of Patanjali or a symbol of yoga. Patanjali kites are flown during festivals and celebrations, such as Makar Sankranti, Basant Panchami, and International Yoga Day. Patanjali kites are also used as a tool for meditation and spiritual practice, as they help the flyer to focus on the breath, the movement, and the present moment.

Layang layang kite flying tips

If you want to try flying a layang layang kite, here are some tips that might help you:

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  • Choose a kite that suits your skill level, preference, and budget. You can buy a ready-made kite from a store or online, or you can make your own kite from materials such as paper, plastic, fabric, bamboo, or wood. You can also decorate your kite with your own design or pattern.

  • Choose a location that has enough open space, clear sky, and steady wind. Avoid flying near power lines, trees, buildings, or other obstacles that might interfere with your kite. Also avoid flying in rainy, stormy, or windy conditions that might damage your kite or cause accidents.

  • Choose a string that is strong enough to hold your kite and long enough to reach the desired height. You can use cotton, nylon, or synthetic string, depending on the type and size of your kite. You can also use a reel or a spool to wind and unwind your string easily.

  • Launch your kite with the help of a friend or by yourself. Hold your kite by the bridle (the point where the string is attached) and face the wind. Let your friend hold the string and walk away from you until there is some tension. When the wind lifts your kite, release it gently and let your friend feed more string as it rises. If you are alone, you can place your kite on the ground with some weight on it and walk away with the string until there is enough wind to lift it.

  • Control your kite by pulling or releasing the string. To make your kite go higher, pull the string gently and steadily. To make your kite go lower, release some string slowly and carefully. To make your kite turn left or right, pull the string to one side or the other.

  • Enjoy flying your kite and have fun. You can try different maneuvers, tricks, or stunts with your kite, such as loops, dives, spins, or tail grabs. You can also fly with other people and join competitions or games, such as kite fighting, cutting, or catching.


Layang layang kite flying is a fun and creative activity that can bring joy and satisfaction to anyone who tries it. It is also a way to connect with nature, culture, and spirituality. Whether you fly a wau, a layangan bebean, a patanjali, or any other type of layang layang kite, you will surely experience the thrill and beauty of soaring in the sky.


  • What is the difference between layang layang and wau?

Layang layang is a general term for kites in Malay language, while wau is a specific type of layang layang that has a diamond shape and long tails.

  • What is the best time to fly kites in Bali?

The best time to fly kites in Bali is between June and September, when the dry season brings strong winds and clear skies.

  • What is the purpose of kite festivals?

Kite festivals are events where people celebrate the art and culture of kites by flying them together, watching demonstrations, participating in competitions, and enjoying other activities related to kites.

  • How do you make a simple layang layang kite?

To make a simple layang layang kite, you need two sticks of equal length (about 60 cm), some paper (about 80 cm by 80 cm), some glue or tape, some string, and some scissors. Follow these steps to make your kite: - Cross the two sticks at the middle and tie them together with string. - Cut the paper into a square shape and place it over the sticks. Fold the edges of the paper over the sticks and glue or tape them. - Cut a small hole near the center of the paper where the sticks cross. Tie a long string to the hole. This is your kite line. - Cut a long strip of paper and attach it to one end of the kite. This is your kite tail. - Decorate your kite with markers, stickers, or anything you like. - Your kite is ready to fly.

  • How do you cut another kite's string in a kite fight?

To cut another kite's string in a kite fight, you need to have a sharp or abrasive coating on your own string, such as glass, metal, or sand. This is called manja or tar in some countries. You also need to have good skills and timing to maneuver your kite and make contact with your opponent's string. When you do, pull your string quickly and sharply to create friction and cut their string.


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