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Traditional Kite Flying

Peacocks, cats, and moons fill the sky when large kites are launched at the end of harvest


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Flying kites in Malaysia isn't an easy task. After all, their size sometimes can even reach 3.5 meters in length.

There are plenty of kite variations that can be spotted in different regions. The most famous are wau bulan (moon kite), wau kucing (cat kite), and wau merak (peacock kite). It is believed that the word "wau" derives either from the Arabic letter whose form looks like a kite, or from a Dutch word "wauw" that refers to a predator bird. Also, there is a traditional game "wau" which is played mainly in rural areas of Kelantan, Perlis, and Kedah.

It involves flying beautiful kites at the end of the harvest season in March and April. People usually prepare home-made kites, and for wau bulan it takes quite a bit of work. Wau bulan kites must resemble a rising crescent moon. Its tail is dyed to reflect sunlight and its body is often painted with floral motifs.

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