Volunteer Blog: Glasgow Kite Festival 2018
Ricefield Arts was delighted to host Glasgow Kite Festival on Sunday 22 July at Bellahouston Park. Visitors arrived to a sky filled with kites, and were given the chance to build their own following traditional Chinese methods.
The Kite Festival was supported by Festival 2018, the cultural programme for the Glasgow 2018 European Championships.
Here new volunteer Veronika Mihaylova shares her experience of the big day:
This summer I had the amazing opportunity to join Ricefield Arts & Cultural Centre, which is a social enterprise that is known for delivering original and inspiring Chinese cultural experiences across Scotland. I was part of the Glasgow Kite Festival that took place on 22 July 2018 at Bellahouston Park in the southside of Glasgow. The event aimed to not only share interesting facts about kites and their origin but also to promote creative activities such as how to make your own kite, treasure hunting, trying on traditional Chinese clothing, face painting and making bathbombs.
Kites (风筝, fēngzheng) were first introduced in China over 2000 years ago, where they were mainly used for sailing communication, making signals and testing the wind strength. China had the ideal materials for kite making that include silk fabric for sailing and a resilient bamboo for a strong lightweight framework. The very first Chinese kites were actually flat and shaped like a rectangle.
For most of the event, I was on the information point, where I was receiving feedback and providing any relevant information about the festival. As a newcomer, I was amazed by the huge amount of families who left overwhelmingly positive messages on our feedback kite tree. Many children took the time to draw their own small kites and hang them on our decorative tree, while others were seeking clues for the treasure hunt; the goal of which was to encourage people to look for hidden kites in the area and answer seven questions for the prize of a fortune cookie.
People also had the opportunity to make their own kites from bamboo, which was the most popular activity of all and left many waiting. Fortunately, there was an alternative where they could hire kites of various sizes or try their luck at the lucky draw to win a kite, a customised kite festival badge, temporary tattoo, the popular Chinese fans, picnic blankets or the grand prize of Mugstock Festival weekend tickets.
Many people took the time to try on the traditional Chinese hanfu clothing and take one of our self-crafted frames for a memorable photo, while small children got their face painted by Stardust Designs.
Mid-festival Bonnie the Seal, the mascot of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships, joined us. Many children were very excited to meet Bonnie and got the opportunity to take pictures (or as Bonnie calls them ‘sealfies’).
Glasgow Kite Festival was a perfectly windy summer day for kite-flying and I am very excited for the next upcoming events in August: one of them being the Big Summer Get Together at the Hidden Gardens on the 11th and Glasgow Canal Festival on the 25th. If what you just read sounds like fun, you could join me and the rest of the volunteers by signing up today.
Take a look at the kites in action! Jarvis Gray produced a short video recap of the festival experience:
Finally, have a look at some great moments captured on camera by Ricefield volunteers Kevin Schneider and Wenjie Lai.
Find out more about Festival 2018 by visiting their website: www.festival2018glasgow.com