Weifang International Kite Festival

Weifang International Kite Festival
Photo: weifangkitefestival.com
The Weifang International Kite Festival is held every spring in the Chinese city of Weifang, known as the kite capital of the world. Weifang is considered by many to be the birthplace of kites, so no wonder that it has been chosen to host one of the world’s biggest kite festivals.

Weifang is located in the coastal province of Shandong. The city is known for its numerous natural and historic sites, as well as for being an important kite flying center. Weifang is home to the world’s largest kite museum. It also hosts an annual international kite festival.

No wonder that kite flying is an extremely popular tradition in China as this country is the birthplace of kites. Kites are believed to have been invented in the 5th century BC by inventor and engineer Lu Ban and philosopher Mozi. In ancient China, kites were used to measure distances, test the wind, and as a means of signaling and communication during military operations. From China, they were introduced to other Asian countries and the western world.

Kite flying has long been a traditional leisure outdoor activity among the people in Weifang in springtime. The first international kite festival was held in Weifang in 1984 with the help and support of David Checkley, the Chairman of the Seattle Kite Association. The event featured 18 kite teams from 11 countries and regions, including Canada and the United States, and drew more than 10,000 kite fans.

Four years later, Weifang was unanimously declared as the world’s kite capital by the presidium of the festival. In 1985, representatives from China, Japan, the UK, the United States, and 12 other countries founded the International Kite Federation headquartered in Weifang.

Since its inception, the Weifang International Kite Festival has been held each April. The event takes place on the large salt flats south of the city. Its program includes kite flying competitions and demonstrations, live performances, and other exciting events and activities. There’s also a market where visitors can buy traditional Chinese kites and try flying them.

The World Kite Championships held during the festival were inaugurated in 2005. They include a kite competition and a featured kite exhibition. Participants compete in several categories such as Kite Fighting, Dual Line Sport Kite Compulsory (team competition), Dual Line Sport Kite Ballet (team competition), Innovative Kite, Best Traditional Kite, Best Performance in the Sky, Best String Kite, and Dragon Kite.

Weifang International Kite Festival

Photo: Jacky Chen at CultureInCart




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