Trykhaty kite festival in Ukraine
Wind, kites, festival life, traveling alone in Ukraine and ending up in the middle of nowhere
This year I got really inspired by the giant inflatable kites and from now on my biggest dream is to create the giant kite myself, so this is how the wind brought me to the small marvellous village in the South of Ukraine. It was not so easy to get here because the roads in this region of Ukraine are particularly awful, but I think it’s the case when you are heading to the middle of nowhere.
By far the Trykhaty kite festival is the biggest kite festival in Ukraine. And both Ukrainian and foreign teams of kiters come annually here to show their kites. This year due to coronavirus there were only three foreign teams from Turkey, Estonia, and Scotland.
I stayed at the festival for two days and all this time I spent in the kiters camping, so there will be some insider information following 😱
So, first of all, nowadays there is a vast variety of kites in all imaginable designs and colors. So there are up to dozen different categories of kites. But personally, I divide them into three:
- flat kites that we are all used to
- giant inflatable kites that are relatively new to the kiting history
- and finally maneuvered kites (like parafoils and others)
No need to say that the most impressive and spectacular kites are the giant inflatable kites. These kites are also called display kites because they need an additional kite, called pilot or lift kite, to hold them up in the air. The main figure behind these kites is Peter Lynn, inventor and kitemaker from New Zealand. By the way, this year Andrew Beattie from Scotland brought kites created by Peter Lynn.
Now as we’ve talked a little bit about the kites themselves, let’s talk about the kiters. There are two major categories of kiters: those that manufacture the kites themselves and then fly them on festivals, and also those who once bought kites and now they travel all over the world with those kites, visiting different kite festivals.
The most interesting thing about the kites is that this is not such a safe hobby and don’t be fooled by these colorful sky floating photos reminiscent of some childhood memories.
First of all, don’t run through the fields where the kites are, cause kites are held on ropes and when the wind is low the ropes can go down and that increases your chances of stumbling over them. Also, don’t underestimate the lifting power of the wind. The wind at the festival was relatively low for me, not even merely close to one of those mild winds that you feel near the sea, but somehow one of the kites lifted a big concrete anchor block that it was attached to.
Also as one of the Ukrainian kiters told me, that last year they also had an accident with a bottle of water falling from the height, because it was attached to the flag on the kite and was used as an anchor to hold the flag vertically in the sky. So if there is a fence around the territory where the kites are anchored please be sure that it is for a good reason.
To sum up, I was fascinated by the nature of Trykhaty village even though it’s a pity that you can’t swim there, the kites and the kiters culture and their “floating” lifestyle really blew my mind. Will definitely come again.
P.S. don’t forget the sun protection cause the sun is really burning and there are a few shadows around. So in the end here is the video of me learning how to joggle under the giant flying alien.