China is the birthplace of many inventions, like paper money, alcohol, and the compass, but did you know that the Chinese also invented the kite? The first kites were invented not as toys, but for practical uses (like communicating during military operations, measuring distances and gauging the wind; all difficult tasks in 5th Century B.C.).
Years later, during the Tang Dynasty, kites took on a new identity as children’s toys, much like the kites of today. And now Weifang, China is known as the kite capital of the world. Weifang, located in central Shandong province, is home to the International Kite Festival, which wrapped up its 35th year this spring. The three-day event consisted of 89 teams, 220 players, and 502 kites from over 60 countries; a spectacular sight to see.
So get ready to be “in the know” about kites in this edition of China Unknown.