Kite is a symbol of the Chinese handicraft. Flying a kite is a very popular activity in all generations in China. It is easy to find the scene that when in the holidays, there are large numbers of people gathering to the squares and holding lines to control beautiful kites in the blue sky.
Chinese kite originated from the Warring States Period (476 BC-221 BC). The deft craftsman Lu Ban was said to be the inventor. His invention had the bird' s name of ‘Yuan', a kind of bird of hawk family with a long, often forked tail and a long pointed winds. He made the kite out of the thin wooden or bamboo strips.
After the Han Dynasty (206 BC -220 AD), paper was introduced into the kite-making and replaced the wood and bamboo. Hence, the kite got the name ‘Zhi Yuan', as ‘Zhi' in Chinese means paper. And during the Five Dynasties Period (907 A D -960 AD), people tied the bamboo whistle to the kite. When the kite is flying, the airflow can make the whistle sounded like Kucheng playing, hence the name ‘Fengcheng'.
As the civilization advanced, making and playing the kite became very popular in Weifang area, Shandong Province，in the Tang and Song Dynasties. Weifang's kite has reached its heyday during the Tang and Song Dynasties. Every year in spring when the Tomb-sweeping day comes, the weather become warm. All most every household went out to fly the kite and have a picnic in sunny and windy days. It was an exuberant folk activity and a good time to display the kites as well as enjoy the warm weather and the fresh air. The tradition has been well kept until today and becomes the world-famous Weifang International Kite Festival, which is held from 20th to 25th in April every year.
Kites in Weifang
Since Weifang has the tradition and history of kite, it is famous for its kite making. The kite making in Weifang is exquisite in style, beautiful in painting and good in quality. What's more, it has abstracted the strongpoint of wooden New Year's Painting, making its appearance more colorful, vivid, and elegant.
The masterpiece of Weifang kite is giant centipedes kite with Chinese dragonhead. It is as long as 100 Chi. Making such a giant fly needs the skill. Firstly, the head part should be raised than the tail part, and then use the power from the body parts to make the head rose higher. The connections between the body parts have specially designed, which ensures the kite fly.
Besides Weifang, Beijing, Tianjing, and Nantong in Jiangsu Province are also famous for their characteristic kites. Craftsmen usually make the kite according to the different animals, traditional mythologies and famous novel characters.
Benefit of Flying Kite
Flying kite in spring day is benefit to health, it’s a good way to stretches the physique, and reduce backache. When people flying kite, it can distract them from their troubles, help them forget the stressful environments and reconnect them to nature.
Recommended Time for Flying Kite
Spring is the most suitable season for flying kite. Flying kite requires modest wind, and warm day, that’s why it’s better to fly kite in spring days. Cloudy day and rainy day is not bright enough for flying kite, gloomy day may make people susceptible to myopia.