The dragon is the symbol of the
Chinese nation. Boats are made in the shape of dragons by Chinese
people of va-rious ethnic groups. Dragon-boat contests are popular
in southern areas with many rivers and lakes.
Kites were invented in ancient
China, the earliest man-made aircraft in the world. Kites made in
Beijing, Tianjin, Weifang in Shandong Province and Nantong in Jiangsu
Province are unique in their styles and famous all over the world.
On April 1 every year, the Kite Festival is held in Weifang. Kite
lovers from all over the world come here to share their enthusiasm
for kites and strengthen ties of friendship.
Yangge is a kind of folk dance
accompanied by music with strongly accented rhythms. It is popular
in many areas of north China. Nowadays, it is a keep-fit activity.
It is especially popular among middle-aged and elderly women.
Weiqi originated in China, and
was already a popular game during the Spring and Autumn and Warring
States periods. Then it found its way to Japan, Korea, and European
and American countries. After the founding of New China, it was
listed as a competitive sports event.
Wushu, or martial arts, has been
practiced for several thousand years by people in China for physical
training and self-defense. It is practiced in various types of set
exercises, either empty-handed or with weapons.
Taijiquan is a branch of Chinese
martial arts with a history of three or four hundred years. It grew
out of the health maintenance exercises of ancient Taoism combined
with the theories of yin and yang and main and collateral channels.
It originated in Chenjiagou in Wenxian County, Henan Province. There
are different schools, including the Chen style, Yang style, Wu
style and Sun style. In this art it is essential that the mind guide
the body’s movements and, at the same time, follow the body’s graceful,
gentle and firm movements.
Qigong, with a history of several
thousand years, is a unique system of exercises aimed at controlling
the mind and regulating the breath to keep fit, live long, overcome
disease, and strengthen the physiological functions. Wushu and qigong
have won followers all over the world.
Sports meets of national
minorities are held regularly in China.