Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Chinese invented the Kite, becomes Popular around the World

Like many Chinese inventions, using kites became popular in other countries, where kite flying took on unique traditions and uses specific to the country.

For example, the kite's popularity spread to India years where it evolved into the fighter kite, also known as patang. Kite fighting is where participants try to snag or cut down other kites. Fighter kites are usually small, flat, flattened diamond shaped kites made of paper and bamboo. Its uses range from competitions and contests to spiritual and religious ceremonies. It is also used for military and scientific purposes. In India kites are flown at the Makar Sankranti Festival
(celebrated mid january), Republic Day, Independence Day, and Raksha Bandhan. 

ONCEKids celebrates Asian cultures and publishes Fujimini Island which is family-friendly book series teaching Asian culture.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fly a Kite with your Kids this Summer

How do you spend you family time during the summer?  Outside enjoying the weather? Have you built or flown a kite with your friends and family before? My kids and I love kites and the feeling of joy we have when we are running behind them watching them dip and fly in the sky. We went out and flew some kites over the holiday and felt inspired to research and understand kite flying.

Did you know the kite influenced the creation of the airplane? Wow! Kites are just as popular today as they were when our ancestors created them. Weifang, Shandong, China is home to the largest kite museum in the world. Weifang 
also hosts an annual international kite festival on the large salt flats south of the city. Weifang is very famous for its dragon kites today. China is not the only country celebrating with kites anymore as it has become a beloved tradition in many countries!

To learn more about family friendly activities visit the ONCEKids website

Thursday, July 7, 2011

July 4th Fireworks - Begins with the Chinese

One of the first things you think about when thinking of the 4th of July is fireworks. Fireworks have been a longstanding tradition used to celebrate the independence of our country, but they have their importance in other countries as well. Did you know the chinese were actually some of the first to produce and use fireworks? In the Han Dynasty (206-220 BC) it is said that bamboo would be roasted to produce a loud sound used to scare away ghosts and other evils. In the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-581 AD) these sounds were also used to pray for happiness and prosperity. At the end of the Northern Song Dynasty the first paper tube crackers, filled with gun powder, were created. 

The export of fireworks began with Paozhuang, a private trading company, in the mid 1800s. Today, there are five bases of firework production existing in China: Liuyan, Beihai, Pingxaing, Jianghu, and Donguan. There are few countries throughout the world that do not import chinese fireworks. Like their ancestors, people in China today set off fireworks to express happiness and peace. Fireworks play a significant role in festivals and holidays such as Chinese Lunar New Year and China National Day. They are also used for other occasions such as weddings and birthdays. 
So next time you think of fireworks, think of China and the traditions fireworks have deeply rooted 
within chinese culture! 

Monday, July 4, 2011

How Does the World Celebrate on July 4?

Everyone's heard of the 4th of July! The food, the fireworks, the family! Have you ever thought that maybe July is a month of celebration for other countries too? 

The Singapore Food Festival is an annual event that takes place from the end of June to the end of July. Beginning in 1994, it is organized by the Singapore Tourism Board. 

The Singapore Food Festival consists of weekly events including themed celebrations, culinary workshops, and competitions. It has been established as a key attraction within Singapore's calendar of events. 

The food is inspired by Asian culture and heritage and focuses heavily on the use of spices. An example of a spice commonly found on the Singapore Food Festival is chili. Due to its pungent flavor chili has spread rapidly throughout Asia and has become a necessary addition to certain asian cuisines. 

Take the world famous Singapore Chili Crab for example! Yum! Fresh ginger is also an essential ingredient in most forms of chinese, indian, and southeast asian dishes. It is often used to counterbalance the "fishy" flavors and smells of certain asian foods. An example of a famous dish using the popular spice is Hainanese Chicken Rice! 

Can you imagine how much white rice is consumed during this festival since most asian dishes contain a rice for all three meals?

Learn more about dishes like Singapore Chili Crab, Hainanese Chicken Rice and other delicious Asian cuisines by visiting the Singapore Tourism