Kites were invented by the Chinese people over 2,000 years ago. In the 12th century, Chinese kite spread to the West. Oriental and western kite cultures were formed after years of development. The traditional Chinese culture integrated legends and auspiciousness with the kite craft and finally formed Chinese kite culture with unique characteristics.
1 ) Development of Kite
Uses of kite have been changed several t~mes in history. According to historical record, kite was first used in military. In the mid Tang Dynasty, the society was stable and peaceful so the use of kites was gradually changed from military to entertainment. With the innovation of papermaking, the raw material of kite changed from silk to paper. Kite became popular among civilians with a richer variety of forms in the Song Dynasty. Participated by the literary, the making and the decoration of kites underwent great development. Due to the great demand, kite making became a profession during that period. The Ming and Qing Dynasties saw the peak of the development of Chinese kite. The kites underwent great development in size, design, decoration and flying skills. In recent years, kite flying has publicized as a sports activity as well as entertainment.
2) Crafting and Categories of Kites
To make a kite, the right kind of bamboo strips must be selected for the frame first. The regular paper or silk is used to cover the frame. Silk kites, especially, are more durable and generally of higher artistic value.
China has a large area of territory. As a traditional culture and folk art, kite has formed unique style of different regions during its development, among which the most famous ones are the styles of Beijing, Tianjin, Weifang in Shandong Province, Sichuan and Guangdong Province.
Kites could be generally divided into two categories: the Hard Wing and the Soft Wing. The Hard Wing can endure more air pressure and competitively fly higher, whilst the soft wing can fly farther, although it can not fly as high. In patterns, besides the traditional ones of animals, birds, worms, fishes, new patterns of human images emerged in modern times.