To usher in the upcoming Lunar New Year, Hao Language Centre organised a traditional kite painting session for our students to learn more about Chinese culture and tradition. While there is no direct relation between kites and lunar new year, kite flying is one of the most popular traditional sports in China.
Kites are called Feng Zheng (风筝) in Chinese and the first of them were made of wood. This invention was praised as the forerunner of modern aircrafts and many improvements were made in the following years. Eventually, most modern kites are now made of paper or plastic. The kites we curated for our students to paint depicted auspicious Chinese animals, such as the Chinese carp, dragon and Qilin. The Chinese carp, or koi, is a powerful symbol of
strength and perseverance. It also symbolises longevity. On the other hand, while the Qilin is depicted differently by different traditional texts and time periods, it is commonly known to have the body of a horse, that is covered with the scales of a fish, and is often enveloped in fire. The Qilin’s head is similar to that of a Chinese dragon with a single horn or antlers. The gentle and benevolent creature is often a symbol of luck, good omens, protection, prosperity, success, and longevity. Its appearance generally welcomes the appearance of a sage.
Therefore, as the children had fun painting the kites in a wide array of colours, creating their vibrant masterpieces, they learnt about the legend of the Chinese auspicious animals and Lunar New Year traditions and customs. Everyone had a blast and it was certainly a unique way to usher in the Lunar New Year.
Wishing everyone a very happy Lunar New Year! Do follow us on Facebook and look out for our posts about important traditions and customs that many Chinese follow during Lunar New Year!