Bermuda Kite History

On the Tuesday before Good Friday at 7:30 pm, the Roman Catholic Church in Bermuda traditionally has a Mass of Chrism at St. Theresa's Cathedral, beautifully sung by massed choirs from all the local Catholic churches, sung in English and Portuguese. Priests from every church take part and renew their commitment to priestly service. Afterwards, their is a social gathering in the church hall adjoining the cathedral. Presided over by Bishop Robert Kurtz, CR, it is perhaps the most inspiring of all Catholic services.

A large version of the Bermuda kite

For most Bermudians, Good Friday means church, flying Bermuda made kites, and eating codfish cakes - see below - and English style hot cross buns - also shown below. There is a special Bermuda religious significance to kite flying. It started on Good Friday when a local teacher had difficulty explaining Christ's Ascension to Heaven to his Sunday School class. So he launched a kite with a likeness of Christ. A traditional Bermuda made kite is still in the shape of a cross. Originally, kites were not flown until after 3 pm. Now, they stay up all day. Only if it rains do they come down. Bermuda kites have long cloth tails and are in different colors of paper tissue, wood, metal and string. Some are huge, in exquisite patterns, requiring several men to get aloft. Some make a humming or buzzing sound, when a hummer is included, which spoils their spiritual serenity. Flying kites - although not on Good Friday - was popular in China, then Scotland and England, hundreds of years before it ever reached Bermuda.


Another variation of the Bermuda kite is the traditional Somerset brown paper kite. It is made of cross sticks with a hummer behind the head stick. The hummer is always made with purple tissue paper because it is said to be louder.

Credits :  Bermuda Online - pages supported by the Royal Gazette