While hunting Pokemon with my daughter last Friday, I encountered another garden dragon.
This is a Celosia called Dragon’s Breath. The variety was bred by Sakata Seeds America and introduced in 2015. It won some awards in the garden industry, and it’s easy to see why.
I’ve known of Celosia for some while. Their distinctive “flame-puff” flowers are hard to forget. But the massed display was a sight to behold.
Posted in Dragon Folklore | Tagged Deby Fredericks, dragons, garden dragons, Lucy D. Ford, Real-Life Dragons | Leave a Comment »
Considering the esteem kites hold in many Asian cultures, it may not be surprising that a sport grew up around them. The goal in kite fighting is to sever the other player or players’ strings. Some competitions are one-on-one duels, while others involve masses of kites flying at once. The winner has the last kite in the air.
By tradition, once a kite’s string is cut, nobody owns it. It is common for boys and young men to run after loose kites and try to claim them. (Yes, that whole Kite Runner thing is based in fact.) Sometimes people are injured while chasing kites, when they crash into an obstacle or even run into traffic.
Another form of competition involves cutting the competitor’s line and then tangling the two together, so the winner can fly both kites at once. In this case, victory is not final until both kites reach the ground. One can imagine that in this competition the losing kites are kept as trophies.
Traditional fighting kites are made of light-weight materials such as paper over bamboo frames. With such simple components, this would have made the sport accessible to people regardless of their economic status. In modern times, players can use nylon, mylar and similar fabrics, with frames of plastic or fiberglass. The string closest to the kite is coated with a mixture of ground glass and glue. The glue strengthens the string, and the glass makes it sharp enough to sever a competitor’s line. Because of the risk a kite will be lost, they usually aren’t highly decorated.
Kite fighting is a tradition in many South-Asian countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Korea, and Japan. Each country has its own variations of kite design and rules. In the USA, we tend to want to keep our kites so the sport is not widely practiced. But many American kite festivals do include demonstrations of kite-fighting for the interested.
Now that’s a kite to paint a dragon on!
Posted in Dragon Folklore | Tagged Asian dragons, Deby Fredericks, dragon kite, dragons, fantasy fiction, Kite Fighting, Lucy D. Ford, Real-Life Dragons | Leave a Comment »