The first kites, invented in China, were made from wood and named muyuan. The kites they made were huge, and could carry items for advertising. During the Chinese Tang Dynasty, kites were more elaborate, paper had been invented, and bamboo strips may have been tied on the kites. When flown, these kites would make sounds in the wind like a stringed instrument called the zheng. As a result, the word for kite in Chinese is fengzheng. People believed that flying a kite and then letting it go might get rid of bad luck and sickness. Some of the designs held meanings messages of good luck and fortune.
Kites have come a long way, with different designs to stay up in the air longer and elaborate artwork for expression. Maybe I'll try to make a Chinese kite someday. I found a site that makes it seem fun and not too hard.
By TT @ SS, photo by DH