Kite Flying on Qingming Festival

The most fantastic show of the day was the gigantic kite of "one family with a hundred countries and regions" which is made up by 100 self-painted kites of national and regional flags.  

06 April 2017

On the beautiful afternoon of 4th April,which is Qingming Festival,  students and faculty and their families from 100 countries and regions of UWC Changshu China gathered at Zhuangyuan Island, Changshu and spent the Festival together, flying kites painted by themselves. 


Upon arriving on the huge lawn, teachers and students couldn’t wait to fly their kites. For some of the foreign students and teachers, it was their first time to fly kites.  Though they found it challenging at the beginning, after a few attempts when they finally succeeded, they couldn’t help but cheered with each other with laughter.  The most fantastic show of the day was the gigantic kite of "one family with a hundred countries and regions" which is made up by 100 self-painted kites of national and regional flags.

With a lot of joint efforts, when the kite was flying high above the sky, everybody including many local were stunned by the spectacular scene. Later on, students and teachers were also impressed by the wonderful performances of the kites in different shapes and forms by Changshu Peace Kite Club.
The Qingming Festival event was organized by “Mandarin Tutor Group” with the support from the Chinese Program and Zhixing Office.  It is yet another initiative designed to promote Chinese culture, facilitate intercultural exchanges and understanding.

One thing in particular worth mentioning was when students and teachers saw the litter on the lawn, they started picking them up with the garbage bags they brought along to keep the area tidy and clean for tourists and local residents to enjoy the spring outing.

As early as March, students already started preparing for this big day!


On the chilly night of March 20th, the indoor basketball in the Sports Centre was all lit up with sounds of laughter and Chinese traditional melody as  students were busy preparing for “Qingming Kite Painting & Qingming Festival Exhibition”.


The“Mandarin Tutor Group”had started preparation one week ago, in order to present and deliver the essence of Qingming Festival, a traditional Chinese festival to remember and honor ancestors. Through drawing national or regional flags on the blank kites and finally to fly them on April 4th, students from across the world would have a chance to better understand Chinese culture and build intercutural understanding.


Teachers went to the center quite early on that night to get things set up for the painting of the kites. Students  joined soon and started painting their respective national or regional flags on the kites carefully and happily. Some who found it was not easy at all to paint their national flags  got really worried and discussed with each other to find solutions, while some others enjoyed exchanging views on international issues.

Yuchen Dai, one of the Qingming event planners, said: “The traditional sense of kites of Qingming Festival is mostly  about swallows, butterflies, and etc. This is the most unique Qingming Festival kite painting I have ever seen. Everyone paints the national or regional flags on kites, which is actually the best combination of learning Chinese traditional culture and promoting intercultural exchanges. As the initiator, the intention is  to ask students to draw national or regional flags. However, they not only drew their own  but also others’ and learned about other cultures, which is indeed the very distinct feature of UWC!”


It was particular heart-warming and mouth watering that special Qingming festival desserts were prepared at the school canteen. 

This event is one of the series of programs initiated by Chinese Culture Program which highlights the multi-cultural community at UWC, following the great success of the Chinese Cultural Evening 2017. You are welcome to stay tuned for more exciting events such as Dragon Boat Race led by International Dragon Boat Team, celebration of 2017 Mid-Autumn Festival to be organized by Mandarin Tutor Group.


Author: Yuming Liu, DP1

Photo Credit: Su Yan, Pre-DP