According to legend, kite-making originated in China over 2,000 years ago. Its first use was for military purposes, with some kites large enough to carry men aloft to spy on enemies; others were used to carry messages or drop propaganda leaflets in hard-to-get-to places. It wasn’t until the Tang dynasty (618-907) that kites were used for recreation and now, in modern China, kite-flying is generally regarded as lucky and good for the health.
In this Peninsula Academy experience, children and accompanying adults can learn the ancient art of kite-making and flying from an esteemed kite master. In the comfort of a Peninsula Suite, the kite artisan will share his patterns and techniques - often passed down through families for generations - of drafting, painting, building and flying the kite and guide you to produce your own work of art. Participants will then be chauffeured to a local park, where you can watch your graceful creations soar in the Beijing sky.
Made from bamboo, paper, silk and rattan, traditional Chinese kites are usually crafted in the shapes of animals: dragonflies, swallows, butterflies and centipedes. With their grace and symmetry, the kites are said to be emblematic of freedom and their making is seen as a vehicle for artistic expression.
Under the guidance of the kite master, you will start by choosing a design for your kite – maybe a dragon or a fish or something simpler for your first attempt. Then you will build your frame and choose material to cover it: silk is the traditional fabric, but you may also use strong paper, nylon or plastic. Balance and proportions are key to ensure your kite stays aloft. Once you have cut the material to fit your frame, you are ready to paint and decorate your kite. Attach it to your frame; add the string bridle and you are fit to fly in the nearby Temple of Heaven Park. But don’t let it go, because according to Chinese folklore, this can bring bad luck!
RMB 3,000 for one person
RMB 3,400 for two persons
RMB 4,200 for three persons
Prices include all tax.
- The programme duration is 3 hours between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm and is available March through October.
- Advance reservation of 24 hours is required.
- The maximum number of persons is three
- Each guest must be between 8 and 18 years of age.
- This programme is subject to availability