China is believed to be the birthplace of kites. In the beginning, kites were used as a messenger or tool for military reconnaissance missions. Since flying kites needs good weather conditions and a spacious ground, it has turned into an outdoor sport loved by many. In recent years, medical experts have discovered that flying kites could be a good therapy for mentally ill patients. It helps them become more open and outgoing.
Do you know what the earliest kite looked like? More than two thousand years ago, Chinese philosopher, Mozi (墨子), spent three years creating a wooden bird based on bird flight. However, it broke down after one day's flight. It inspired people, afterwards, to invent kites. After the invention of paper making in the Eastern Han Dynasty, paper was used for kite making. In the Tang and Song dynasties, kites were popular entertainment for common folks.
Chinese kites maintain rich cultural connotations. For traditional kites, designs feature Chinese characters, such as "happiness" (欢乐), "longevity" (长寿) and "good luck" (好运), showing people's pursuit of beautiful things. Weifang in Shandong Province is known as the "capital of kites in the world". An international kite festival is held in the city every year.