China’s Kites: Military To Flying Fish
Among the many inventions credited to China, many forget the kite.
Kites were not always a child’s toy. With references dating back more than 2,800 years in Chinese myths and legends, kites were conceived for military purposes: measuring distances, sending messages and even lifting men.
Today made of wood, paper, bamboo and silk, I found this flat hand-painted silk koi fish kite walking around Ho Hai lake in Beijing.
The sharp green and gold pigments highlight the scales and echo Japanese origami prints.
In contrast to the simple diamond-shaped kites of Europe, there is a real artistry and symbolism in Chinese kites. Popular designs include fish, birds, insects, animals, human figures, and Chinese characters. Many designs represent good luck, such as the koi fish, or longevity, such as the pine tree and crane.
This week we will see how my silk Chinese fish kite fares in Irish winds and weather!
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