Last up date:1998/08/01
The History and Development of Kites

The History and Development of Kites was copied from "Chinese Kites:Their Arts and Crafts" written by Wang Xiaoyu and published by Shandong Friendship Publishing House

1. The Origin of Kites

Kites originated in China. It was Mo Zi(478-392 BC) , the Chinese philosopher of more than 2,000 years ago, who "spent three years and successfully made a hawk out of wood, which was broken after owe day's flight. "This wooden "hawk" made by Mo Zi inspired by the flying hawk in the sky was the first kite of the world as well as of China.
Mo Zi passed his undertaking of kite-making on to his disciple Gongshu Ban (alternately known as Lu Ban), who, according to the chapter "Inquiry about the State of Lu" in the classic Mo Zi , in light of his master's envisagement and design, split bamboo clappers into thin strips, polished them, curved them through heating over a fire and shaped them into the form of a magpie. And this" wooden magpie" could be flown in the air for three days. It is recorded in the book Great Documents that "Gongshu Ban once made a wooden hawk to pry into the citadel of the State of Song."
Tradition has it that early in the 5th century BC a kite was invented in Greece, but unfortunately, the art was lost afterwards. It was in the 13th century that kites began to be popular in the western world when the Italian Marco Polo had returned to Europe from China.
Concerning the question how kites were invented, there have been three versions in China. The first is the bamboo hat and tree leave version. As is known, the bamboo hat, as a device for waterproof and outstroke prevention, is of very ancient origin. It began to be used when the chief human occupation was turned from fishery and hunting to farming. Particularly, it was a necessity for people living in the tropical and subtropical zones. In ancient times, the bamboo hat was coarsely made, and the tie was usually locally available such as bark fibers. Tradition has it that one day a farmer was working in the fields when a wild wind rose and took away his bamboo hat. So the farmer made haste and caught hold of the tie. It so happened that the tie was long and the hat was flown in the wind like a kite.

Gradually, it evolved into kiteflying, as the farmer found delight in it and often flew bamboo hats with his fellow-villagers. The tree leave legend originated in south China. It is said that ancient people worshiped the sight of tree leaves being flown by wind all over the sky and that they enjoyed themselves in flying leaves at the end of flaxen thread. This act gradually evolved into the tradition of kiteflying. The peoples of Gaoshan Nationality of Taiwan and Lizu Nationality of Hainan began to use the leaves of the breadfruit tree as kites at a very early date.
The second is the boat and tent version. As we know, wooden boats have long been employed by man, and as early as over 2,000 years before Christ , they began to be employed in production. At some later date sailing boats came into existence. The ancient Chinese thinker Zhuang Zi(369-286 BC)of the Warring States Period mentioned in the chapter "The Carefree Excursion "in his book Zhuang Zi, "Lie Zi could ride upon the wind.... "proving that at the time of Yu the Great (c. 2255-2205 BC)boats were equipped with sails. However, there are other people who believe that kites were invented after tents in north China ,and that the ancients made the first kite in imitation of the tent and flew it in the air by a great wind. And by and by, kiteflying became a pastime.
The third is the flying bird version. In accordance with the historical records and judging from the ancient kites discovered so far all the frames, forms and decorations are characterized by the image of some bird. Based upon this we may come to the conclusion that the invention of kites was inspired by flying birds. Hence, kites were first made in imitation of birds and were named after binds. This version seems to be sound enough. Birds are man's friends, and flying birds can best trigger man's imagination. In primitive society, birds used to be worshiped as modems ; during the civilized ages, birds have received a particular favor from man. Customarilly, the Chinese have developed a liking for auspicious things, and most images of birds symbolize auspiciousness.
The flying swallow greeting spring marks the beginning of a new year; the prolonged life of the crane suggests promised longevity; pigeons and wild geese are always associated with the images of messengers; the mandarin ducks as life-long partners and the magpies bridging across the Milky Way in the well-known myth stand for true love and happy marriage; the siskin breaking the day with its singing urges people to get up early; the cuckoo in its beautiful voice advises people to plow and sew in time; the lark with its thrilling voice gives out great musicality; the peacock displaying its fine tail feathers offers a sight pleasing both to the eye and to the mind...
Nowadays, many peoples have chosen some birds as their embalms, known as national birds, such as the white-head vulture of the United States, the indigo peacock of India, the skylark of Demark, the green pheasant of Japan, the sandgrouse of Norway, the crow of Sweden, the lyrebird of Australia, and so on. In China, the phoenix has been regarded as a noble bird, and its extraordinary image can easily be seen in murals, articles of handicraft art, trade marks ,dresses and personal ornaments.
Birds were worshiped and loved by man, and kites were made in imitation of birds. This reveals man's longing for a better life. It is only natural that kites came into existence out of such an environment.

2. The Evolution of Kites

The wooden kite emerged in a time of war, and was employed as a means of war. In ancient times, besides its military role as a means of communication and reconnaissance, the kite was employed as an offensive weapon as it carried gunpowder with it. After the founding of the Tang Dynasty(618-906), a series measures were taken to mitigate the class contradictions, to maintain social order, to lighten the burden on the ordinary people and to develop the economy and production, thus rapidly bringing peace and prosperity to the society. And, the social stability and economic development gave rise to the popularization of various festivities, which, in turn, promoted the flourishing of various cultural and recreational activities.
Therefore, kites, which had been employed for military purposes, began now to become a plaything. Thus, kite-flying on the Bright and Clear Day became a fashion for the royal family, although it had not yet developed into a custom among the common people. In the book Lanterns and Kites compiled by Zhao Xin, it is recorded that eunuches of the Tang court flew at night kites with lanterns on theme Furthermore, there are records in the book A New History of the Tang dynasty by Ouyang Xiu and Qi Fang of the Song Dynasty to the effect that during the Tang times ,people "made kites with paper, "which could be flown in the air" as high as over 300 meters. "AII this proves sufficiently that the skills for both making and flying kites were developed considerably at the time.
The historical period of the Song Dynasty(960-1Z79) saw the great development of kites among the ordinary people in China. This owed primarily to two factors: the prosperity of the urban culture and economy as well as the booming of folk handicraft industry on the one hand, and, on the other, the promotion of festivities by the rulers of the time, thus having laid a foundation for the development of kites and having created a fine environment for turning kiteflying into a kind of festivity. A scene of such prosperity and bustle in the then Eastern Capital Bianliang of the Song Dynasty can still be seen in the extant monumental painting named "Flocking to the River on the Bright and Clear Day" by Zhang Zeduan, the noted artist of the Northern Song Dynasty.

The prosperous urban culture and economy not only met the needs of the people for cultural life, but laid a foundation for the popularization of kites in cities and towns and among the people.
Thus, kiteflying began to become a popular pastime during the Northern Song period, and a number of scholars began to make studies on kites as a folk art. In his work The Origins of Things, Gao Cheng of the Song Dynasty made special studies on the origin, history and names of kites. During that historical period, kiteflying as a popular activity was often taken as a subject matter by painters.
During the historical period of the Southern Song Dynastycll27-1279), "its institutions, officialdom, customs and festivities were all copied from those of the Eastern Capital in its prime. "The emperor and the feudal lords " did not give any thought to the recovery of the lost territories of the Central Plains, led a life of great debauchery, and indulged themselves in the beautiful scenery of the lake and mountains. "And, luxurious festivities became a fashion at the court. At the time, the powerful rich used to vie for wealthiness and greatly promoted the celebration of festivals such as the Bright and Clear Day, thus turning kiteflying into a very popular practice indispensable for the ordinary people as well as for the imperial family.
The picture "A Scene of Myriad Sons" by Su Hanchen, a courtier artist with the Imperial Art Academy of the Southern Song Dynasty ,offers a vivid description of a scene of kiteflying during the period. Furthermore, at that time, besides the convention of carrying on kiteflying on festivals in the suburbs of cities, kiteflying contests as a business were often held in a "convenient and spacious" ground. That kites of that time were sold as commodities and that the handcraftmen of kites could earn their living through the competition with kites fully testify that kites played a considerable role in the culture and economy of the then society.
The custom to fly a kite on the Bright and Clear Day was introduced into north China in the middle period of the Ming Dynasty(1368-1644). In the book Annals of Yongle Prefecture, it is recorded that on the Bright and Clear Day "A swing was set up as a game in every household. Girls competed by picking up small stones, while boys made kites with paper and flew them at the end of a string. "In the work Yearly Events in the Imperial Capital by Pan Rongsheng of the early Qing Dynastycl644-1911) , there is a detailed description of sporting on a swing and flying a kite on the Bright and Clear Day.

Li Yu, the well-known playwright of the early Qing period wrote a romance play based on a story that "the young scholar Han Shixun flies his kite with his poem written on it, which falls in the courtyard of the Zhans. And the girl of the family Zhan Shujuan writes on the fallen kite her poem in reply. Thus, they fall in love. "By the time of the Qing Dynasty ,such sports as swinging and kiteflying had become very popular in north China. "People ranging from the imperial family down to the ordinary folk are all engaged in such sports as swinging and kiteflying during the period of the Bright and Clear Day. "Indeed, kiteflying had become a recreation of a mass nature in north China.
A customary recreation as a kind of festivity is ,as a matter of fact , a mirror set to social life, for it reflects the economic conditions, the cultural aspects and life features of a country ,a nation or a locality in a given period in history. Under the reigns of Emperors Qianlong and Jiaqing of the Qing Dynasty , there existed a stable political situation at homeland the agricultural production and urban culture and economy were rehabilitated and developed. To show off "the piping times of peace," the rulers made great efforts to promote various festivities , thus giving rise to the flourishing and developing of kiteflying. So ,when the Bright and Clear Day came ,people went in for swinging and kiteflying.
They had a great interest in going in crowds to the suburbs of the city and sporting on the greenflies now that spring had come back to the earth. It was more so in the Beijing-Tianjin area where culture and economy were relatively developed and in Weifang which was noted for its handicraft industry. The popularization of kiteflying not only enriched people's cultural life ,but played a role of physical training and eliminating diseases. In the book Records of Yeariy Events in Weixian Country, kiteflying in spring is called "to send away gloom," or "to seek fortune. "There has been a conventional practice among the people that on the Bright and Clear Day, they fly high and far a plank-shaped kite, purposely break off its string, and let the kite drift away with the wind.
This practice is meant, allegorically, to get away with all the gloominess accumulated over the past year so that they will become healthier during the coming year. Cao Xueqin, the famous writer of the middle Qing period, besides describing kiteflying in the plots of the famous classical novel A Dream of Red Mansions, made a great quantity of criticisms and studies on the history, names, types and techniques of Chinese kites and wrote the first Chinese book on kites named A Study of the Techniques for Making Kites in Both North and South China, thus contributing greatly to inheriting and developing Chinese kites as an artistic undertaking. After him, kite-making both in the court and among the people entered a new stage.

Beginning in the 19th century, with the emerging of commercial cities and the growing of the handicraft industry, kite-making gained a new momentum. In such cities as Tianjin, Weixian, Jinan, Qingdao and Nanking and in some areas in Jiangsu, Guangdong, Hebei and Anhui provinces, monopolized kite markets of different scopes appeared in succession, and kites as works of the folk handicraft art began to be sold, as a result of the further popularization of kiteflying among the people.
The 1911 Revolution overthrew the autocratic rule of Chinese feudalism which had dominated the society for thousands of years, and, under the influence of the New Culture Movement, Chinese folk kite industry made a big leap forward. The number of professional kite makers increased, while kitemaking became a household sideline in places such as Weixian , Gaomi, Tianjin and Beijing. A great number of traditional-styled painters participated in making and painting kites, and greatly improved the techniques in this respect, thus giving rise to a style of fine brush work and strong coloring as well as a coexistence of a professional style and a folk style. A number of high-grade kites made by kite craftsmen and painted by artists aroused great interests and began to reach a higher level.
Now, they were more than playthings, but became ornamental artistic works which could be hung on a wall of some luxurious hall. Therefore, Chinese folk kites, together with other works of folk art, began to enter the circles of folk art of the world. On Feb. 20,1915, for the first time in history were Chinese kites contributed to the Bahama International Fair held to celebrate the completion of the Bahama Canal.
The kites made by the kite craftsman Ha Changying of Beijing and by the kite craftsman Wei Yuantai of Tianjin won the golden and silver medals respectively and, together with China's other works of folk art such as jadeite, ivory, marble as well its carved lacquer ware, enamel, inlaid silver, procelain and carpets, won honor for the country. Following that, kiteflying contests were held repeatedly throughout the country. During the 1920s, kiteflying contests were sponsored by the Weixian Chamber of Commerce and were held in Qingdao, Anqing and Tribes. All of them gave impetus to the cause.
The establishment of the People's Republic of China ushered in a new era in Chinese history. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese people embarked on the great cause of socialist construction. Contemporary Chinese kites, over the past 40 and more years, have undergone three stages: rehabilitation, serious setback and unprecedented prosperity.
After the 3rd Plenary Session of the llth Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, along with the implementation of the opening policy, especially with the holding of the Weifang International Kite Fair, the establishment of the International kite Association and the naming of the International Kite Metropolis, kitemaking and kiteflying have been further popularized and prompted. Kiteflying has become an important cultural and sports activity, while in the fields of kite-making and kiteflying there has appeared a situation characterized, metaphorically, by "a hundred of flowers blossoming and a hundred schools of thought contending. "Kite-making and kiteflying today are developing in the direction towards multiple function and high level, and are enjoying unprecedented prosperity.

3. The Development of Kites in Other Countries

Kites are a bright pearl in the cultural treasure house of world as well as an art passed on generation to generation by mankind. Kites of different countries have their own histories and their own interesting stories. In the 13th century , after Marco Polo returned to Europe from China, kites were introduced into the West and began to be employed widely in scientific experiments. In 1794, Alexander Wilson, astronomer from the University of Glasgow, Britain, managed to make the world's first meteorological instrument with kites. He employed six kites as the carriers, which brought into the air a number of instruments to test the humidity, the temperature and the wind force in the air.
In 1893, the Englishman Hargrave designed a folding kite for the Meteorological Bureau of the United States and sent them up into the air as meteorological instruments to test the wind velocity, the temperature and the atmospheric pressure. At the time, there were altogether 17 weather stations in the United States employing such instruments, and they operated until 1933. Sir George Kelly of Britain successfully made a few wide-wing kites in order to explore the profound mystery of flight. He used them to test and determine the relationship between the gravity center of an object in the air and the pressure center of the windward surface. Finally, he successfully developed the world's first glider in 1800.
With the progress in science and technology, the techniques of making kites in contemporary Europe have been improved immensely. A kind of camera-kite, produced in Britain, is flown with a nylon string, and, when flying in the sky, it looks very much like an unmanned plane. It can take pictures of a land object from different angles. Not long agony British man named Kenneth Samoa developed a kite nicknamed "Butterfly Sam," which can fly at an altitude of 2,000 feet.
One day, he flew his sample kite in Hide Park, and caused a great alarm at Heathrow Airport. For on the screen of the radar at the airport appeared a signal, but the conductor of the air traffic could not identify the flying object. Finally, a helicopter was sent and found out that it was a kite. As a result, Mr. Samoa was imposed on a fine of 10 pounds. Over the recent years ,exchanges of kite affairs have been very frequent in Europe, and every year there is an international kite fair of a certain scope. In June, l985, an international kite fair was held in Holland, and the premier of that country was invited to cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony. In Sept., l988, both France and Federal Germany held an international kite fair respectively, and China sent its representative teams to both of them. Russians kiteflying has a long history. As early as 200 years ago, there was a Russian riding on a kite. That man, named Mozaisky, was a navy officer who loved adventures and flight. He once rode on a jumble-sized kite made by himself and let it pulled by a carriage. And, the kite with the man on its back raced in the wind along the highway. With the changes in the speed of the carriage in its advance and its angles in the wind, the kite was given a lift of different intensity. He recorded all the data concerning the relationship between the lift and the inclined angle, thus having obtained important data for making airplanes. The first kite seen in America might have been brought there by the immigrants from Europe after Columbus discovered the new continent. But kiteflying became very popular in the United States and there have been numerous examples . of kites bringing benefit to man. The best-known scientist Benjamin Franklin, the discoverer of electricity, was a lover of kiteflying. He often flew a kite while swimming, employing the kite as a driving force for his own advance in the water, and thus made kiteflying a very interesting pastime.
For Many times did he make scientific experiments in thunder and lightning with his kites. On June 10, 1752, he sent up his kite made of metal into the air where lightning flashed accompanied by peals of thunder, and the electric current came down through the metal string of the kite, thus revealing the mysteries character of thunder and lightning. Alexander Graham Bell, US scientist and the inventor of the telephone, was another lover of kiteflying.
The large-sized octangonal kite he made, consisting of 13 delta miniature kites, once carried an army lieutenant into the air up to the altitude of 50m. and flew there for about 7 hours. Kites have also built up their merits in the history of man's aviation. The Wright brothers of the United States, inventors of airplanes, had indispensable relationships with kites. Wilbur Wright, born in 1867, and his brother Orville Wright, 5 years younger, only received an education of junior high school, and were both repairmen of bicycles. Early in their childhood, they loved kiteflying, which triggered their imagination of flying in the sky.
Then, they carefully studied such works as The Animal Machine by Prof. Maray, Der Vogeefug als Grudlage der Fliegebunst by Otto Lilienthal and The Experiments in Aerodynamics by Prof. Samuel Pierpont Langley , and took detailed notes by copying all the classified data on cards. Inspired by the wings of the eagle and the kite, they formed the idea of developing two-layered wings for a biplane, and worked out a blueprint for the world's first glider. In keeping with the proposal of the US Meteorological Bureau, they took their glider to the remoe beach of Kitty Hawk in north California.
As a matter of fact, their glider was nothing other than a jumbo-sized "kite" with thin amphora wood strips as its frames. When the wind velocity reached 25 miles per hour, this 18 ft. dong and 5 ft. wide "kite" was finally started up into the air over the beach, while the Wright brothers pulled hard at the strings. Later, they managed to alter the forms of the wings and the ways to manipulate the glider for several times ,carried out manned flights, and practiced over and over again on the beach. Although they suffered many a failure within the span of two years, never were they disencouraged or frustrated ,as they were confident that "man will fly in the sky. "
In their workshop, they painstakingly kept on gathering data, and designed more than 200 forms of wings, which they assembled and disassembled again and again with a view toward finding out the best scheme. On Dec. 4,1903, the plane the Wright brothers developed achieved a great success in its trial flight over the beach of Kitty Hawk.
In 1909, the brothers were invited to display in Paris their improved plane, and created there a new record of flight up to the altitude of 204 m., arousing sensation throughout Europe. Americans love kites, and kiteflying is very popular both in citiesand in the countryside of that country. Thus, kites have become a fashionable commodity, and there are over 100 shops and stores throughout the country which sell kites. In the year 1978 alone, the sales volume of kites amounted to 150 million, and kite associations, kite makers and businesses, editing staffs of kite magazines are everywhere. No doubt, the kite undertakings in the United States have captured a highly developed position in the world.
Kites were introduced into Japan from China during the period between 794 and 1192. Initially, they were primarily covered with gunny cloth, but later were covered with paper and became more and more popular among the people. For quite a long time, kites were chiefly employed for military purposes. It was during the Ado Period(1603-1867), however, that kites began to be produced in batches along with the progress in the art of printing. After 1655, the Japanese government repeatedly issued orders to ban kiteflying at ordinary times. It was exceptionally permitted on the Dragon Boat Festival and the Lantern Festival as a kind of festivity but carried out by adults only. Gradually, it became a fashion among children, too.
However, by the end of the Ado Period, as power transmission lines were set up everywhere, accidents of injury or damage caused by kiteflying became common, and kiteflying began to decline. As a result, many a kite shop changed their business or closed down, and the number of kite-makers decreased. After the Second World War, however, handmade kites as works of a traditional folk art became popular again. So, kites which once faced extinction had a rebirth, and the number of people who took delight in making kites increased accordingly. In 1975,a fan-shaped kite was introduced into Japan. This kind of kite, with plastic frames covered with ethylene film, can be started up and flown even in a small breeze, and, in contrast with kites flown by adults, is extremely popular among children. Besides, there is a kind of cubic "box kite" which has become fashionable too.
Japanese kites are of the same origin with Chinese kites. That can be proved by the language characters and names. In the area of Hokkaido, people use cypress strips as frames of kites, while in some other areas bamboo is used. The paper used for covering kites is usually the kind produced by local handicraft industry. Some kites use only one base string, while some large-sized ones use as many as several hundred base strings, with the thickness of the string being in direct proportion to the size of the kite. A whistle, mostly made of paper in east Japan and of bamboo in west Japan, is usually installed on the back of a kite. For the pendant tail of a kite ,paper or cloth streamers or a rope is used.
Generally, Japanese kites can be divided into the following types in terms of their forms and patterns:

1. Square-shaped kites and kites derived from them (characterized by painting or writing);
2. kites with boxes or sacs (in the form of a worrier or a servant, with the form of the kite in conformity to the human figure);
3. The series kites named "Nagasaki Flags" (framed into a "*"form with geometric patterns);
4. Chinese kites and polygonal kites derived from Chinese kites (from those introduced into Japan during the Tang Dynasty, often in the form of human figures ); 5. Particularly shaped kites (a centipede kite formed by stringing together several smaller kites, or small kites in the form of sleeves).

Generally, the proper season for kiteflying in east Japan is Jan. and Feb., and May and June in west Japan. Kiteflying carried on in May in Shizuoka and that carried on in June in Niagara are well-known festive occasions, on which those whose kites are the largest will be honored ail applauded. According to the record in a Japanese encyclopedia, an old Japanese man, more than 60 of age, started up and flew at the end of one string a large-sized kite which consisted of 5, 580 smaller kites, breaking the record he himself maintained of a kite consisting of 4,188 smaller kites flown at the end of one string.
In Japan, kiteflying has different allegorical meanings, as customs are different in different localities. In some areas, kites are looked upon as auspicious things which can be used to pray for the birth of a boy, while in some other areas they are considered as a divinatory means to determine whether there will be a good year or as a means to get rid of all calamities and disasters, or used for military or surveying purposes. In the area of Shizuoka, kiteflying is regarded as an event of great jubilation; in the area of Niagara, it serves as a prayer for a bumper harvest, while in the area of Nagoya, it is taken as a means for the union of a couple of young lovers. Under the kite flying in the blue sky, young lovers stand shoulder by shoulder and hold the same string, the tie symbolically for eternal love.
Although the exact origin of Korean kites is unknown, common are historical records of kites being used in ancient times as means of communication and even as weapons. The earliest record of Korean kites can be found in the book Historical Records of the Three Kingdoms. In the year 647, there was a revolt in that country, and General Kim was ordered to put it down. One day's big meteorite fell from the sky and lay close to the imperial palace.
That caused a great disturbance among the populace, who believed that it was a portent of the empress's defeat and that there would be great disasters. General Kim, in response to this crisis, immediately made a large kite with lanterns on it, started it up while it was night, and at the same time, widely publicized that the meteorite which had fallen the previous day was now rising again, portending that the empress would win. Thus, the populace were pacified and calmed down, the morale of the troops was hightened, and the revolt was finally put down.
According to another record, in 1347 when he was suppressing the riot of the Mongols, General Tsui managed to help his men climb up onto the cliff with the aid of kites, and set the enemy citadel on fire with kites carrying kindlings, thus having recovered the lost city and put down the riot.

During the Korean-Japanese War of 1592-1598, the Korean Duke of Loyalty and Valiance employed kites as means of communication between the sea island and the land. When the Japanese troops surrounded and attacked Pyongyang, a minister within the city flew a kite to report the enemy situation to the rescue troops, and thus defeated the Japanese invaders by collaboration from within with the forces from without.
Kiteflying as a convention in Korea began roughly during the period between 1725 and 1726,when the emperor developed a particular liking for kiteflying and often awarded those who could fly a kite with dexterity. It was also during this period that kiteflying began to become an yearly festivity among the Korean people. According to A Record of the Yearly Events of Korea, at the beginning of the year, children used to put such written prayers as "No personal bad fortunes will occur to so and so " and "Getting away with disasters and bad fortunes" onto the tails of their kites, and then flew them away together with the kites, in a hope of eliminating bad lucks and securing happiness.
According to historical records carried in some classical documents of Korea, in some areas the proper time for kiteflying would be the half month from the first day to the 15th day of the first month of the lunar year, while in other areas kiteflying would be started as soon as autumn harvesting was over. However, in both north and south Korea, the 11th day of the first lunar month used to be regarded as a special day for kiteflying, known as "the kite Day, "an occasion to get away with all bad fortunes and disasters. And as a rule, on the kite one flew had to be written one's name and birthdays.
In south Korea today, centering around the organizations named "kite popularization associations" based in Seoul and other cities, kiteflying as a game has been promoted with great efforts ,and regional or national kite contests have been held frequently. In Seoul, one or two days before the 11th day of the first lunar month each year, a large kite contest is held on the stream in its suburbs. On such an occasion, there will be a hubbub of voices on the ground, and many an owner of kites whose string is cut off will look up, wade in the stream, jump over a wall, and race to catch up with the drifting away kite. Indeed , that is a wonderful and magnificent sight.
In 1983, an international kite fair was held in Seoul, south Korea, and to it many countries and regions sent their representative teams, such as the United States, Japan, Malaysia and Chinese Taibei.

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