The charm of Changa Chait

3 min read
18 Sep 2017
3 min read
629 words
Changa Chait, an annual event organised by Radio Kantipur, highlights one of the long-standing and most-loved traditions of Dashain: kite-flying

Changa Chait, an annual event organised by Radio Kantipur, highlights one of the long-standing and most-loved traditions of Dashain: kite-flying. The event has been held every year since 1998. Changa Chait usually takes place between Ghatasthapana and Saptami, inside Radio Kantipur’s premises in Pulchowk, with about 300 to 400 people attending every year. This programme’s primary focus is kite-flying, but it also features food stalls, exciting prizes and interactions with celebrities.

Radio Kantipur believes that it is its responsibility as a leading media outlet to ensure that Nepal’s unique tradition lives on; Changa Chait is a fantastic means to pass on this tradition to the next generation. “Changa Chait is one of Radio Kantipur’s oldest and most popular events,” says Dinesh DC, Station Manager at Radio Kantipur. “We’re hoping that it’ll help revive our dying tradition of kite-flying.” Changa Chait was originally started to perpetuate just the tradition of kite-flying, but it later evolved into an event that not only endorses kite-flying, but also promotes social interactions and gatherings.

The programme begins in the morning, with Radio Kantipur’s staff and a few other visitors, but as the vibrant kites colour the sky and the live telecast by Radio Kantipur itself commences, the number of people attending the event almost triples. As the day progresses, even more people pour in after hearing about all the celebrities who have graced the event. Celebrities who have attended this event in the yesteryears include Sugam Pokhrel, Mingma Sherpa, Deepak Raj Giri, Milan Amatya, Astha Raut, Satya Raj Acharya and Swaroop Raj Acharya, among many others. Although the number of people at the event keeps fluctuating through the day, there are around 200 people present at any given moment, most of whom are from Patan. 

Changa Chait usually sees attendees from all walks of life and various age groups. While the children use this event to indulge in the thrilling act of kite-flying, the elderly sit back and watch as the kites soar in the sky, reminiscing about their past days. Adults mingle and interact with each other as they sample the different types of food available, and the event allows members of the public to rub shoulders with celebrities and celebrate Dashain as extensions of a larger family.

The location of Radio Kantipur’s building offers the second-highest vantage point in Kathmandu, with wide open spaces and optimal wind conditions for kite-flying. Radio Kantipur provides all the required materials, including kites, string and lattai to interested participants. A kite-flying competition is held at the premises, and winners of the competition are awarded with gift hampers and prizes, and there are also special rewards for those who can capture and return chait kites to Radio Kantipur. Prizes in the past have included LED TV sets and phones, among others. Entry is free, and anyone
who wants to enjoy the festive atmosphere is welcome to attend the event.