Friday, May 10, 2013

2013 Weifang International Kite Festival!

We visited the 2013 Wei Fang International Kite Festival which featured over 10,000 kites from 31 countries plus competitions.  It was their 30th anniversary. We took the high speed bullet train from Jinan.  
During the Kite Festival featured the 9th World Kite Championship, the Kite-fighting and Sports Kite Competitions and Ten-thousand Kite-flying Performance along with a Luminous Kite-flying Performance in the evening we didn't stay to see.

We met many kite flyers from Singapore, Hong Kong, America, United Kingdom, India, New Zealand, Ukraine and China.  It was an international event.

The train station in Weifang

I'm not sure what these traffic directors are for. You can barely see them for all the traffic and they would appear to be redundant since there are traffic lights. 

Between here and the entrance gate was a gauntlet of vendors.

Now that we know there are always 2 lions, one male (with the world ball under his pawn) and the other a female lion with a young lion under her pawn, we tend to take more notice of them whenever we see a pair of them. This one was very unusual for its playfulness. The little lion is caught in the act of playing with him mommy's bangle.

The trip couldn't happen without Lily. She has been a godsend helping us see and enjoy more of China. This was her first trip to Weifang.

This mural appeared to us to have echoes of Mayan culture.

The Gauntlet begins.

Everyone is getting in on the action.
Those 2 orange & blue kites are part of the Sport Kiting Competition.

We must have had a couple of dozen folks come up to us and ask to have their photo taken with us.

Believe it or not, this is a kite being prepared for flight. 
Kite flying was invented in China ions ago. Legend says that some herders tent went flying into the air in a Gobi Desert wind and the sight of it inspired a new sport.

This is our sad attempt to join the fun with our wee kite.

You would not believe how HUGE this "inflatable" kite is. The higher they are, the smaller they look.

We learned that this is a "lifter" kite, also called a "pilot" kite. It is what holds up those HUGE inflatable kites. That line you see coming from it is often tied to a tree, a pole or anchored to a pile of sand bags. Sometimes the line will support more than one inflatable kite, up to 3 or 4. Hence the term "laundry line" kite flying.

This is a team of Sports Kite flyers. They don't use spools but have set kite lines. They operate as a team flying their 4 to 12 kites in tight formations doing wondrous tricks; like unto the Blue Angels!

More photo ops.

This was a new kind of kite flying we discovered. Kite Fighting. It's kind of dangerous. The kite string is some kind of glass, razor sharp; and the goal is to cut the line of the other fellow's kite before he cuts yours.
Since we have lawyers in America this kind of kite fighting ain't allowed. No. Americans can only "touch" the other guys kite string. Kinda like the difference between the NFL and flag football.

This is the entry from India

Another lifter kite....waaaayyyy up in the air; caught courtesy of zoom lens.


This is us with the Singapore team. He taught us lots about what it was we were looking at.

Lots of lifter kites.

The team from India in action. Check out those heavy gloves.

We met Phil Broder, the publisher-editor-writer of Kiting, Journal of the American Kite Flyers Association. He was a wealth of information. A real kite enthusiast. He just took a new job with the Birmingham, Alabama Zoo. 

We met this lovely gent from Britian who is living and working in China right now.

This was a personal favorite.

This one was unusual and different from all the others is shape, color and aerodynamics.

Weifang is about 250 kilometers east of Jinan. These structures around the train station attest to its modernity. China is growing at a unbelievable pace. They really like to build interesting monument-like buildings.

1 comment:

  1. First time in my life I have ever seen Roslyn look with the least degree of interest at a furry animal...unless she was really watching them be butchered for the skewers.