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Kite Flying - China Culture


Kite flying is a favourite Chinese outdoor activity in spring. The oldest record of a kite is from over 2000 years ago. Carpenter Lu Ban left his precise instructions for making a kite with bamboo. Lu Ban is the great wood building master in Chinese history. He made a bird-shaped wooden kite that could fly in the air in the Chinese history Spring and Autumn Period.

In the late 10th century, kite flying gradually shifts from military to recreational use, mainly for royals. Some kites even had whistles. When the wind blew, the kites would make sounds similar to the "Zheng", a traditional zither instrument. Combining the word "Feng" which means the wind, with the instrument "Zheng", you got "Feng Zheng", this is the Chinese word for kite.

风筝  fēngzhēng  ---  kite
放风筝  fàng fēngzhēng  ---  fly a kite

In the Tang Dynasty, the kite was introduced to neighboring countries like Korea and Japan. In the Song Dynasty, kite flying gradually became an entertainment game among the people, and in the Yuan Dynasty, it was introduced to various countries in Europe.

chinese kite flying


There are also some other reasons for flying a kite flying. In the old days, people would cut the string when flying a kite, to release the bad luck from the previous year.

How to make a kite
To make a kite, you need to make the frames first with thin bamboo strips, then paste paper or silk to the frames, and finally tie a long thread. Thus a kite is born. It flies into the sky under wind force. There are two major types of kites - “hard-winged ones” and “soft-winged ones”. The former can stand greater wind pressure than the latter and therefore fly higher. But “soft-winged kites” fly further than their “hard-winged” counterparts. The shapes of kites include traditional birds, beasts, worms and fishes.

How to flying you kite
If wind conditions are good, face away from the wind and hold up your kite, letting it catch the wind. As the wind lifts the kite, let line out. If the wind slows or lulls, reel in some line back in to steady your kite.Once your kite is in the air, use the line to control its flight. A steady tension on the line will keep your kite flying evenly. You can slow your kite's descent by slowly reeling in your line. Pulling on the line will move your kite in the direction it is pointing while letting out the line will change its direction.

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