After Carnaval, during the Lenten season, high north east tradewinds 'Bientu di Kuaresma' are blowing over the Dutch Leeward islands.
It's during this time that the 'Temporada di Fli' or kite flying time starts. Colorful kites are dancing in the sky from the beginning of March until the end of May.
Curacao has a kite flying tradition since the days when slavery was allowed. Kites were originally made as scarecrows after planting fruits. Soon kids started playing with kites. At that time, they made light weight kites frames from dried out cactus wood (datu), and they used leaves and flowers to cover the frame.
The first kite flying competition in Curacao was held in 1874 and since then there were competitions every year.
There are about 20 to 30 kite flying groups on Curacao, and each year there are several kite
flying competitions organized by the Fundashon di Fli Korsou.
Competitions are being held for the most beautiful, the largest, the smallest, and the fastest kites.
Cut out in different shapes - birds, aircraft, superheroes and favorite cartoon characters - the kites are a treat to the eyes and generate more and more enthusiasm in the build-up to the main day. Kite flying competitions are held in many places. Curacao's kite festival at Noord Zapateer is a particularly big event and draws participants from all over the island.
Photo by: vliegersport.info
There are no age limits to the kite flyers in Curacao. The eager young ones are always anxious in displaying their designs. The aging "big-kids" are more interested in the ingenuity of their paper aircraft. In-other-words, there are no age limits nor social barriers for the kite flyers on this special time of year. As for those who have no interests in the public showing, the kite flyers make their way to various community centers and playing fields to hoist their kites in the air.
Where to buy
If you like to fly a kite yourself while vacationing in Curacao, the best place to buy a handmade kite is along the roadside of the Caracasbaaiweg. Here, you will find Lindorf, who makes kites from light wood and colorful plastic foil. He sells his kites every day from the beginning of March till May, from sunrise till sunset.
Photo by: vliegersport.info
Kite flying is not allowed in some areas
It's not allowed to fly a kite in Mahuma, Seru Fortuna, Ser’i Papaya, Kura Piedra, Muizenberg and Grote Berg. The kites are too dangerous for airplanes departing from and arriving at Curacao International Airport.
The police recently warned in the local newspaper that it's also not allowed to kite fly in the evening or night.
The best places to fly your kite are the numberous soccer play fields which are scattered over the island. There is plenty of space on these fields and you have less of a chace that your kite hits a cactus when falling down.
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