Fly a Kite

Venue: Square of the Temple of Heaven
Duration: 2 hours
Summary: Try to image that various colorful kites are flying in the blue sky, and then, you pull the line held in you hand, one of them is moving and flying higher than before, how joyful you are!

The traditional Chinese kites are mainly bamboo and silk; purely made and painted by hand. Kite-flying is an ideal out-door activity for local people to enjoy fresh air; traditional and smart, it might be your choice to enjoy a moment of leisure in China. Add it to your itinerary.

Kites appeared in the Western world just 400 years ago. But Chinese kite flying is 2500 years old. The Chinese made every kind of kite long before Marco Polo came. They made communication kites, propaganda leaflet kites, whistling kites, Buddhist contemplation object kites and even man-carrying kites.  Chinese kites originated during the Warring States Period (476 BC-221 BC). The deft craftsman Lu Ban was said to be the inventor. His invention was named after the ‘Yuan', a bird of the hawk family with a long, often forked tail and long pointed wings. He made the kite out of thin wooden or bamboo strips. After the Han Dynasty (206 BC -220 AD), paper was introduced into kite-making and replaced the wood and bamboo. As civilization advanced, making and playing with kites became very popular in Weifang area; Weifang's kite had reached its heyday during the Tang and Song Dynasties. Every year in spring when the Clear and Bright came and the weather became warmer, almost every household went out to fly kites and have a picnic in sunny and windy days. Besides Weifang, Beijing, Tianjin, and Nantong in Jiangsu Province are also famous for their characteristic kites. Craftsmen usually make the kites to mimic different animals, traditional mythologies and famous novel characters.

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