Go Fly a Kite Day
the third Sunday in April
"Go fly a kite" is an idiom that is used as a way of telling someone to go away or to leave you alone. The phrase originated in the 1940s and was very popular at that time and for the next few decades. Its meaning is derived from its literal meaning: a person would probably need to go away to actually fly a kite. A similar phrase is "Go jump in a lake." In these phrases, the important word is "go," not the place where the person is directed to go. Another idiom with a similar meaning is "Get lost." Go Fly a Kite Day takes place during National Kite Month, which means that the phrase should be taken literally, and people should use the day to fly kites!
It is believed that kites came from Shangdong, an eastern province of China; they were spread to India by traders, who brought them to Korea, and then across Asia. Different styles of kites, as well as different cultural purposes for flying them, came about in different locations. Early kites were often made with bamboo, and covered with silk and paper. In 1295 CE, European explorer Marco Polo documented kites and how to fly them. By the sixteenth century, books and literature had publicized kites as children's toys, which helped them gain in popularity. Eventually, kites began being used for science. In 1749, Scottish meteorologist Alexander Wilson measured air temperature at 3,000 feet with a thermometer attached to a kite. Benjamin Franklin used a kite to prove lightning is electricity in 1752. The Wright brothers used kites for research when they were building the first airplane in the late 1800s. In the first half of the twentieth century, new kite designs began taking flight, such as the diamond kite, tetrahedral kite, flexible kite, sled kite, and parafoil kite. Starting in the 1950s, NASA began using kites for spaceship recovery. Over the years kites have also been used for surveillance during war. The American Kitefliers Association was formed in 1964.
How to Observe
You could celebrate the day by telling someone to "go fly a kite," but it may be better to actually go fly a kite yourself. If you don't have a kite, buy one or make your own. You could make a diamond kite or tetrahedral kite. You could search for some kite festivals or events in your area, or plan a trip to some of the other big kite festivals around the world. You also could join the American Kitefliers Association, and find kite clubs and retailers in your area. Finally, you could visit the World Kite Museum.