More than 70% of the kites in the world are currently produced here, and the conference headquarter of the “International Kite Federation“ is also located in this city.WeifangCity of Shandong Province, is the birthplace of kites in the world, and has a history of over 2,000 years of kite making.In May, 2006, Weifang kites were included in the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage list.
In the long history, Weifang kites have gradually formed a traditional style and artistic characteristics including their elegant shapes, bright paintings, and excellent flexibility when taking off. Weifang kites also feature different types such as hard-winged kites ,soft-winged kites,etc.Majestic dragons, colorful eagles, imposing tigers, and graceful butterflies…These stunning paintings on the kites carry auspicious meanings, expressing people's yearning for a beautiful life.
They are not only widely used for flying, competitions, or entertainment, but alsohave become the pride and symbol of Weifang City.The International Kite Festival held in April every year is an important event for Weifang to promote economic development with kites. Delegations from more than 30 countries and regions around the world will be participating in this event.
Weifang is serious in turning intangible cultural heritage into an industry and constantly giving it vitality.At present, there are tens of thousands of employees in the localkite industry, and the output value is over 2 billion yuan.Weifang kites focus on keeping pace with the times.In terms of technology, the production materials have changed from paper and plastic to fiber materials, and the production methods have evolved from hand-drawn kites to modern technologies including 3D printing, laser cutting, and digital design. In terms of style, the creativity is endless and the most magical thing is that everything can fly in the sky:wandering octopuses encountering giant centipedes, Superman battling Zhu Bajie – any mythical and romantic elements one can think of are all present.Last year, the 8-meter-long space station-themed kite became a hit across the country. Nearly 20 kite inheritors from Weifang incorporated modern technology to create it, restoring the docking of Shenzhou spacecraft and the Tiangong station, as well as the scene of astronauts spacewalking outside the cabin.
In terms of inheritance and protection, Weifang kite inheritors have not only established intangible cultural heritage bases but also engaged in exchanging ideas in communication with foreign countries. They participated in exhibitions and gave out skill demonstrations (invited by institutions such as Confucius Institutes), enabling Weifang kites to truly fly to the world.