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Where were Kites first flown?

Updated on September 6, 2015

Kites have been used in Asia since time immemorial. Some evidence dates their invention at around 1,000 B.C.

Kite flying has been a national pastime for many centuries among the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans and Malayans. Kites held great religious significance in Asia, as they were believed to keep evil spirits away when flown at night.

But there is also a tradition that they were invented nearly four centuries before Christ by Archytas of Tarentum, in southern Italy. He was a Greek philosopher and scientist, and a friend of Plato, the great philosopher.

Kite flying strictly for pleasure has many supporters in China, where the ninth day of the ninth month is designated Kite Day.

Kites have often been used in simple bridge building by attaching a cable to the kite and flying it across the river or gap. In meteorology kites have been used to carry weather recording instruments aloft.

The current kite flying record of four and a half miles was achieved with a string of 10 kites. The total surface of the 10 kites was 683 square feet. The line used for this record-breaking flight was more than nine miles long.

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