Shandong, the World Kite Capital
Robert Wang | On 04, Mar 2018
Go fly a kite!
You might not believe this, but the earliest known kites date back more than 2000 years. Though the exact origin is debated, it’s believed the home of the first kite was Shandong, which is my hometown, in the eastern-most province of China.
My hometown of Shandong has been called the World Kite Capital. One legend suggests a Chinese farmer tied a string to his hat to keep it from blowing away in strong winds, and from this concept the first kite was born.
The first kites were constructed from common yet durable materials, such as bamboo for the framing covered by silk and paper. There is even evidence that emperors built wooden prototypes of kites that would hold the weight of soldiers, called “wooden black-eared kites.” This would mark one of many applications that kites have had in war and surveillance throughout the years.
Is your family’s heritage site responsible for anything interesting? Let us know in the comments!