China Travel Tips

Reflections on Travel in China

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Weifang Annual Kite Festival

There are many festivals in China that are fun and interesting. You can obtain a list from the China National Tourist Office. A Link is on my web site. One festival that I have gone to for a couple years is the Weifang International Kite Festival in Weifang, Shandong province just south east of Beijing. It is held about the 3rd week in April each year and countries from all over the world attend with delegations of kite fliers from each country. Kites were first flown here centuries ago and there is an original "Flying Field" where they were believed to be first used by local people. There is a kite factory there yet which still makes hand made kites which you can buy. I have several here at home mostly of hawks that I tease our local sea gulls here in Seattle. Kites range from small hand held to large ones over 10 feet tall. The largest I have seen was as big as a bus and light cables where hooked to it and pulled up into the air by a jeep. You see the opening ceremony shown above which is like the opening ceremony at the Olympics. They conclude the festival with a giant fireworks display on the last night. If you would like to see this festival, incorporate it into a China Tour but plan on booking at least 6 months in advance in order to get tickets to the Opening Ceremony. My kite that I flew is in the Kite Museum yet today and I was honored by being in the Opening Ceremony parade for all invited Kite Fliers. Weifang is just north of where Confucius lived 2500 years ago and the site of his family cemetery which is the largest single family cemetery in the world.

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