Kites

 

Introduction

Weifang City of Shandong Province is widely regarded as "the world's capital of kites". The most famous kites of Weifang are Longting (Dragon Pavilion) and Julong (Giant Dragon) kites. In Kaifeng, there's an age-old custom which is popular to this day. During Qingming Festival, people fly kites as high and far as possible, then deliberately cut the line, allowing the kites to drift in the sky with the wind. This is a symbol of letting go the unhappiness and sadness accumulated in the previous year, which is believed to keep illnesses at bay throughout the rest of the year. In addition, a kite is a carrier of hope. If a fish is drawn on a swallow-shaped kite, it has a hidden meaning of being "a wish for surplus each year", because the word "fish" is a homonym of "surplus" in Chinese. If bats, peaches, pine trees and cranes are painted on a kite, it means fortune, wealth and longevity.

Location

Story

In ancient times, apart from being a source of entertainment, a kite could also be used for military purposes, used for activities such as measuring distances, transmitting information and traversing dangerous locations etc. In 190 BC, when the war between the Chu and Han peoples was underway, the Han general Han Xin used a kite to measure the length of the tunnel under the Weiyang Palace when he launched an attack against the palace. During the Battle of Gaixia, when Xiang Yu's troops were encircled by Liu Bang's troops, Han Xin ordered the making of a cowhide kite, with a bamboo flute attached to it. When the kite was flown in the wind, the Han army sang some Chu songs with the flute, breaking up the Chu army's morale. The Han army won the battle in the end. This was the origin of the Chinese idiom "Simian Chuge" (literally meaning "Chu songs all around", it's a phrase that means "under attack from all directions").
 

Relevant Articles