Hundreds of handmade kites fluttered above Phnom Penh’s Koh Pich island on Thursday morning as 49 competitors converged for the 19th annual Khmer Kite Flying Festival.
The festival, organized by the Ministry of Culture, started at 8 a.m. when the participants launched their colorful creations as hundreds of students joined in for fun with smaller kites.
Fashioned from bamboo, paper and plastic according to traditional techniques, the competition kites were painted with intricate patterns and tableaux.
A panel of judges evaluated the kites based on their aerodynamics, aesthetics and sound—a narrow bow affixed to the nose of each makes a buzzing noise in flight.
“If the kite makes seven different sounds, it is good,” said, Him Vibolphal, a Culture Ministry official and judge.
Yen Sina, a 37-year-old from Kompong Thom province, took first prize with an oval-shaped kite depicting two tigers attacking an elephant.
“It was so much fun, and I’m very happy that I was the first-place winner,” said Mr. Sina, who won about 400,000 riel, or about $100, in prize money.