In February, spring comes back to earth, promising nice, warm days. It is said that people eat melon seed in January and fly kites in February. Kite-flying has become a much-loved outdoor activity among young people. Kites take on different shapes. They are made of bamboos and paper. They could have four long tails or be as simple as possible. Or they can be made in the shape of tiles tied by a rope. They are easy to be made, cost-effective, and produce good effects. In addition, colored kites can look like eagles, doves and centipedes. Some kites are tied with rubber bands and a small bell, which rings in the sky when the wind is too strong. The custom is here to stay. But few still make kites themselves. They buy kites from stores and it is less interesting.
Yuyao kites stand out for its exquisite workmanship and have won many golden prizes both at home and around the world. People use bamboo skin as the kite frame and bamboo sticks as the kite bone and they are tied together with symmetry. Then they use light paper of varied colors as the wings. Kites are shaped like eagles, butterflies, bees, swallows, cranes, phoenix, mandarin ducks, magpies, giant dragons and bats. Patterns on the kites can represent jubilance, good health, longevity, filialty, success and wealth. Some kites adopt silk or satin as they are elastic and easy to fold.
Newly made kites are like birds flying high in the sky. They are like real creatures crossing clouds, sometimes staying high and other times low. Viewers on the ground watch kites with joy while kite flyers enjoy the process enormously. Proverbs go that children who fly kites high and far can go home enjoying rice cakes and sweet dumplings, while those who fly kites unskillfully go home crying.
With a ring tied to a kite, the sound it produces is pleasant to the ear. Proverbs go that as the kites resound in the day, the days are getting longer and longer. Meaning in March by the Chinese lunar calendar, the daytime is getting longer and longer day by day. In the night, people put lights on the kite. Streams of lights going up the sky make a spectacular scene. The kites with light is known as fairy lanterns.
In the past, people had the rope tied to their kite cut after it flew high in the sky. It is said that such a practice would bring good luck by repelling diseases.