Showing posts sorted by relevance for query korea. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query korea. Sort by date Show all posts

Fairy Tales in Different Cultures--Kongi and Potgi: a Korean Cinderella

After having my parents visiting for Grandparents Day at Hazel's school, I am catching up with things like my blog. Today I am sharing a Korean Cinderella. On Tuesday I will be sharing our post for Around the World in 12 Dishes for Korea, so I thought it was a good time. We are doing our fairy tale today since Monday is the Virtual Book Club for Kids blog hop day. Before we get into the story, let's look at Korea a bit.

Korea is surrounded by water since rivers divide it from China and Russia and the Yellow Sea, Korea Strait and East Sea are on three sides. Korea is divided into two distinct sovereign states: North Korea and South Korea. The division of two separate governments happened at the end of World War II. North Korea was under the supervision of the Soviet Union, and South Korea was under the supervision/support of the United States and its Allies. North Korea is a communist republic and South Korea is a democracy. In 1950 North Korea invaded South Korea with Soviet backing causing the Korean War. The result was more than one million people dead in the three years of fighting with neither state gaining much land.
Map of korea en
Source: By Map_of_korea.png: User:Yonghokimderivative work: Valentim
(Map_of_korea.png) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
Korea itself has a rich history with habitation going back to prehistory times. Hominid fossils have been found there dating to 100,000 BC or perhaps as far as 300,000 BC. In the 2nd century BC they adopted the Chinese alphabet, Hanja (in Korean), and in 1443 they developed their own alphabet, Hangul. This had a profound effect on Korea. Hangul is the official language of both North Korea and South Korea.  Their new alphabet was easier to learn and write. In the 4th century AD Buddhism was adopted.  Now there are several religions in South Korea, however the traditional beliefs of Korean Shamanism, Mahayana Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism remain the underlying religion for most Koreans.

Korean royal palace
Korean Palace Source: I, Skanky [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-2.5],
via Wikimedia Commons
Throughout the centuries Korea was known for its silk and pottery. Their pottery made with blue green celadon was sought by even Arabian merchants since it was of the highest quality. One of the best known artifacts is the Cheomseongdae. It is the oldest surviving observatory in East Asia. It was built in 634. (Source)
Cheomseongdae Source: By Matt and Nayoung Wilson from Atlanta and surrounding, 
US (S1050317Uploaded by Caspian blue) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Now onto our story. I found three versions of this story. Two are picture books and one is a graphic novel. We will be using the version Kongi and Potgi by Oki S. Han for our summary, but all three were very similar.
In this story a couple have a daughter named Kongi. Kongi's mother gets ill and dies. Kongi's father fears his daughter not having a woman to help her as she gets older, so he remarries a woman who has a daughter Kongi's age named Potgi. He imagines Kongi and Potgi will become best friends. However this is not the case. The stepmother makes Kongi do all the chores while she and Potgi go to the market or relax. The father tries to stop this mistreatment, but realizes that his asking is not enough and goes along with it for the sake of his marriage. Then when there are events, she tells Kongi she cannot go unless she does near impossible jobs. However talking animals always come to her aid. 
Korean Doll I made last year

The first task is to hoe one of the fields. The stepmother gives Potgi the field near the river which is easy to hoe and give Kongi the one on the hillside which is much harder. Kongi breaks her wooden hoe trying to get the rocks out and finally ends up crying and a large ox comes to her aid and tells her he will clear and gives her an apple to eat. The stepmother and Potgi are at the market and see Kongi carrying a basket of apples. They are shocked she could be done already and she tells them about the ox, but they do not believe her. 

Before Kongi may go to the May Festival she must fill a jar with water, but the stepmother knows the jar has a hole in it near the bottom. A frog comes to help and stops the hole with his body. As Kongi and Potgi grew to be young women, they became excited to have the prince invite all the single young women to a great party is his honor so he could find a bride. This time the stepmother told Kongi she had to take bundles of grain to dry and remove each kernel of rice from the outer shell and she could not go to the palace until the jar was full. Sparrows came and helped her do this task. (This is similar to the Cinderella story from Vietnam.) After the jar is full, she realizes she has nothing to wear. Kongi looks at the sky and a beautiful rainbow appears with angels that dress her in the finest silks. Then four men with a sedan chair appear to carry her to the palace. 

When she walks in she gets everyone's attention. The prince comes right over to meet her. Kongi becomes flustered and runs away leaving behind one of the beautiful slippers the angels had put on her feet. The prince finds the slipper and vows to marry the woman who wore it. They search for the young woman by going to village to village and having women try it. The slipper always looks like it will fit, but never does until they get to Kongi. It fits her perfectly and she pulls out the matching one. Her stepmother and Potgi are amazed and later beg for her forgiveness for how they treated Kongi all these years. She forgives them and they begin doing things for others.

This is a lovely version since the stepmother and stepsister see their errors and Kongi forgives them. They all become better people and it is such a nice lesson to see at the end.

Exploring Korea from Home Reviews of Two Books

Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me a copy of these products free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Today we are going to share with you two wonderful books from Tuttle Publishing. The first is All About Korea by Ann Martin Bowler. This book is a wonderful introduction to South Korea. It includes stories, songs, crafts, recipes and what life is like there. We really enjoy trying the different things and Hazel insists on trying all of them. This book also has additional resources on the Tuttle Publishing website. The book does a nice job of explaining about the split of North and South Korea and how the focus of the book will be on South Korea.

Korean Folk Songs --Book with CD Review

Have you entered the amazing giveaway for Hispanic Heritage Month yet? There are multiple prizes packs and lots of chances!!

Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me a copy of these products free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.
Today we are continuing our Korean exploration. We explored Korea a bit with Around the World in 12 Dishes last year and with Kongi and Potgi: A Korean Cinderella. I am finding that although Hazel has an excellent memory in many ways, she does not always remember what we have done or learned. I know repetition is needed for this, so we are revisiting Korea. To kick it off again we are reviewing a wonderful book that comes with a CD. It is Korean Folk Songs by Rober Sang-Ung Choi and Samee Back. It is being released on October 14, 2014. Tuttle Publishing was kind enough to send me a review copy. 

Now one of the things I love about this book is the little introduction to each song. The introductions teach a bit about Korea and what life is and was like there through the songs. We learn about the Korean's love of nature and their natural heritage. We also hear a bit about the wars, occupation and life during those. For example there is a sad song, "Thinking of Older Brother," or "Obba Saenggak," that has sad words but a very happy tune since the Japanese prohibited negative or depressings songs during their occupation. The words are about wondering what happened to a girl's older brother went to buy her shoes but never returned. 

Kikyo 06c1340sc.jpg
"Kikyo 06c1340sc". Licensed under 
CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
There is another song called "Doraji". Doraji is the Korean word for Chinese Bellflower (pictured above). It grows in the mountainous areas of Asia and its roots have medicinal properties. In Korea the root is also eaten in salads and soups. 

I highly recommend this book to explore the music of Korea and to learn more about the land and people of Korea. It is a perfect introduction to this culture. To see some of the pages and hear some parts of the songs check out the video above.

 For more posts about Korea check out:

Around the World in 12 Dishes: Korea Chap ch'ae

Have you entered my current giveaway? It ends Tuesday!!

Around the World in 12 Dishes is traveling to Korea this month. On Sunday we shared a Korean Cinderella tale called Kongi and Potgi. Today we are going to share our experience trying some Korean recipes and music and stories. We also did a few easy Korean crafts.
Coloring Page from RainbowKids

The dish we spent the most time making together was Chap ch'ae or Mixed Vegetables with Cellophane Noodles.  We found the recipe in Cooking the Korean Way by Okwha Chung and Judy Monroe. We compared recipes in a few books. We all loved this meal.

Chap ch'ae (adapted from Cooking the Korean Way)
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
1 boneless chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
1 package of cellophane noodles
6 tablespoons oil (unless you have the pan I have)
1 large onion, chopped
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 cup baby spinach, washed
5 teaspoons sesame oil
(Note: we took out the black mushrooms and water for them and the bean sprouts)

  1. In  a large ziploc bag combine 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar, garlic, 2 teaspoons sesame seeds. Add chicken and seal and distribute the mixture among the chicken. (Note: if you do not have toasted sesame seeds, toast them first by putting them in a frying pan with no oil and on medium heat. Stir and cook until they are brown and smelly nutty.)
  2. Cook and drain noodles according to package. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large frying pan or wok, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over high heat for 1 minute. Add the chicken and fry, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes or until chicken is white and tender. Remove from heat and add chicken to noodles. (We have a new pan that does not require oil to cook, so we did not use any oil for the cooking. I love this new pan!)
  4. Wipe out pan. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and cook vegetables. (The recipe says to do this separately, but we did it together as a stir-fry.) Then add vegetables to chicken and noodles. 
  5. Combine 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar, sesame oil and remaining sesame seeds. Pour over mixture.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature.
 While this was cooking and we were eating we made Oi naeng guk or cold cucumber soup (the recipe also came from Cooking the Korean Way). We however did not really like it, so we are not going to share it with you. A different night I made Pulgogi (Barbecued beef) which we loved, but Hazel did not help make it and I didn't take any pictures (it was eaten before I got my camera out). The recipe also came from Cooking the Korean Way.

We have been enjoying some Korean stories as well. Here are the variety of picture books we have found at our library. One goes through the alphabet and describes things in Korea. Another counts to ten in English and Korean and relates each number to something in Korea. Then there are traditional stories as well as modern stories.
 We also made some crafts. One that we did was a simple version of the Korean game, Yut-nori.  There are simple instructions on TLC. We used dot markers instead of stickers and I let Hazel do it. We used glass gems as our playing pieces.

We also made a traditionally dressed paper doll. We got it from Hazel loved this craft and wants me to make more clothes for her.
We also made a Tradtional Korean Sam Taeguk Fan from a template found at 4 Crazy Kings. I let Hazel choose the colors and had not shown her theirs, but she picked the same colors.
Our final exploration of Korea has been listening to some music we got from the library. The first two CD's we listened to came from the adult section and they were all right, but we did not listen to them too long. We have not listened to the children's music yet, but I'm planning on bringing it in my car tomorrow on our way to school.

So that is our exploration of Korea. Have you cooked any Korean food that you would like to share in our trip around the world? This blog hop is brought to you by the following amazing blogs! Please be sure to visit them to see what they cooked this month.

Adventures In Mommydom - Afterschooling for Smarty Pants - All Done Monkey - Crafty Moms Share - Creative World of Varya - Glittering Muffins - Here Come The Girls - Kid World CitizenMermaids’ Makings - The Educators’ Spin On It - Maroc Mama

Also check out Around the World in 12 Dishes on Pinterest. Be sure to follow so you will not miss a thing! The Korean Placemat is available here and the Korean Passport Pages are available here. Now it is your turn to share or to be inspired to try some of the recipes shared at this blog hop!

A Look at Korea with Bojagi and Food


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

This week I thought we would look at Korea through a craft and food. So far this month we have looked at China and Vietnam. We will also begin looking a Japan but I will continue the Japan resources into June with the Summer Olympics in Tokyo coming up in July! So today we look at Korea. Now over the years we have explored Korea with books, stories, crafts and food. We even have looked at the Korean language. Now I have had Korean Patchwork Quilting by Choi Yangsook sitting on my shelf for awhile. I have been meaning to share it for Crafty Sundays but haven't gotten around to it because I am fascinated with discovering bojagi. I have not tried any of the projects yet but plan to. Then when I was looking for something to make for dinner tonight with ground beef, I found this recipe for Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls. I figured it was the day to share the book and look at Korea! First here is our Korean Ground Beef and Rice dinner. My family LOVED it!! I only used half the red pepper because we don't like too much heat. 

Lunar New Year

Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing sent me copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The Chinese New Year or lunar new year starts on Saturday. Did you know there are other countries that celebrate the lunar new year besides China? Other Asian countries celebrate it like Korea, Vietnam, Singapore and others. Since I have shared so much about the Chinese New Year in the past I thought I would share books that share the culture of China and Korea this year. For both countries I have books that share about the lunar new year as well as other books to learn about the culture and way of life. 

Lunar New Year and Year of the Horse Book Review

Disclosure: I was sent these books digitally to review free of charge from Immedium. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

Although we celebrate our New Year on January 1st, there are many places around the world that celebrate the new year at a different time (and some celebrate it at two times January 1st and a cultural traditional time). Friday, January 31st is the lunar new year. Now some cultures that celebrate the lunar new year are the Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Mongolian. The Chinese are the largest group that celebrate it and is the one we hear about most often.

 Now China is the largest celebrated lunar new year. Traditionally the celebration of the lunar new year lasted fifteen days. Now in modern times it is usually two or three days. The days leading up to the new year are important in China. The Chinese clean their houses from top to bottom prior to the new year and never on New Year's Day in fear that good fortune will be swept away. They pay off their debts, buy new clothes and shoes to wear on the first day of the year (it is considered lucky to wear all new clothing on the first day of the year since wearing old clothes brings bad luck in the year to come) and have their hair cut. As the old year ends people focus on their mistakes and failures and think about how to act better in the new year. Oranges and tangerines are traditional gifts for friends and family. They are also a favorite offering to the ancestors. Tangerines still have their leaves attached to make sure the family ties remain secure. For food, a chicken is served to ensure prosperity, a Tray of Togetherness (circular or octagonal candy tray) serves sweets each symbolizing happiness, long life, good health and other good wishes.

 The Shēngxiào also known as the Chinese Zodiac relates an animal with each year in a twelve year cycle. The year ending tonight is the year of the snake. The new year is the year of the horse. There are different legends of how the animals were picked and the order they go were picked in. Each animal presents certain personality traits for the people born in those years as well as ways the year should go. People born in the year of the horse love to be in a crowd and extremely active and animated. They love to be the center of attention and can be impatient and hot-blooded. 

I was lucky enough to receive a digital copy of Oliver Chin's The Year of the Horse: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac from Immedium. This adorable story goes through the live a foal and a young boy, Tom. Tom and the foal, Hannah, become good friends. The young boy's teacher has been asked to send a painting for the governor. She needs someone to deliver it, but everyone is busy. Tom offers to do the job, but the teacher feels he needs someone to go with him. All of the horses in Hannah's family are too busy to help so Hannah volunteers. Hannah and Tom ride off to make the delivery. They come across some challenges: a snake, a tiger, and dark, chilly nights, but together they are able to get through/past all of them. Hannah jumps the snake and walks nimbly by the sleeping tiger. Together the pair spends the cold night in a cave with a fire. They make the delivery and the governor invites them to dinner. They see a few sights of the city, but want to get home. They enjoy the sights on the way home since they do not have an important job to accomplish anymore. When they arrive home, the teacher shares a copy of the painting. It is the Chinese word for horse and the teacher says it describes Hannah's valiant spirit. The two friends loved to play together and remained good companions.

For more on China check out DIY Fortune Cookies, Chinese Cinderella, Chinese New Year 2013, Chinese New Year Instruments,

Sources: World Book's Celebrations and Rituals Around the World New Year's Celebrations  and Wikipedia and China Highlights

In Korea the lunar new year is called Seol. Generally it falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice. It is a family holiday with much respect for one's family and ancestors. The Korean house is usually cleaned and special foods are prepared. The house lights remain on throughout the night and the people stay up to greet New Year's Day or Seollal. On Seollal people dress in the best clothes and start their day with Chayre. Charye is the ritual to make the food offerings to their ancestors. An altar table is set carefully with special foods. The family's leader conducts the ritual while someone else reads the chuk mun, the list of ancestor's names. Then the children perform Sebae, when they formally greet their elders (parents and grandparents). The children receive money and cakes and then there are special breakfasts, visits with neighbors, games, fortune telling and dancing. A typical game is yut which involves four sticks being thrown into the air and telling a fortune from how they land. Everyone in Korea eats one bowl of ttokkuk, rice cake soup on New Year's Day and they count their age by the number of New Year's Days they have lived through or how many bowls of ttokkuk they have eaten.

For more information and stories from Korea check out our past posts: The Korean Cinderella, Chap ch'ae (Around the World in 12 Dishes), and Kongi and Potgi: A Korean Cinderella.

Sources: Wikipedia and World Book's Celebrations and Rituals Around the World New Year's Celebrations 


In Vietnam, the new year is called Tết. It is the most important celebration of the Vietnamese culture. People prepare for it by cleaning the house and preparing special foods. There are also many customs that go along with it like visiting friends and relatives and forgetting the bad of the past year. Similar to the Chinese, children receive red envelopes of money from their elders on New Year's Day. The first day of the new year is reserved for nuclear family. Since the Vietnamese think the first person to enter their house in the new year determines their fortune for the whole year, no one visits without an invitation. Sweeping during the holiday is taboo in fear of sleeping away good luck. The second day is usually reserved for friends and the third for teachers. They have some traditional food. One such food is Hạt Dưa or roasted watermelon seeds.

For more on Thailand check out The Golden Slipper post.

Sources: Wikipedia


Tsagaan Sar, the Mongolian New Year, literally means white moon. It is one of the most important holidays in Mongolia. Around the new year families burn candles on the altar to symbolize Buddhist Enlightenment. Typically the family meets in the dwelling of the eldest member and dress in traditional Mongol costumes. When greeting their elders during Tsagaan Sar, Mongols perform a greeting ceremony called zolgokh. The eldest receives the greeting from each member except his spouse. After the greeting the family eats mutton, sheep's tail, dairy products, rice with curds, and buuz and exchange gifts. 

The day before Tsagaan Sar the Mongols completely clean their homes and herders clean their livestock barns to provide a complete fresh start for the new year. They also have a ceremony that includes burning candles on this day. 

Source: Wikipedia

So that is a bit about the lunar new year. What will you do to celebrate? We are planning on making some dumplings and having a Chinese inspired meal. We did make horse stick puppets. The pattern and idea came from Better Homes and Garden.

Finally, as promised here are some more ideas for learning about the Chinese New Year and crafts to do--these all came from last week's Sharing Saturday!

1) From Afterschool Learning for Smarty Pants: 8 Ways to Teach Your Kids about China

2) From In the Playroom: Chinese Crafts for Kids - Chinese Fans

3) From Gift of Curiosity: Chinese New Year Do-a-Dot Printables

If you are featured here, please feel free to grab a featured button. I hope you will join us for this week's Sharing Saturday!

Multicultural Monday: Korean Language Product Reviews

 Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me a copy of these products free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. They also sent me a copy to giveaway! As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Today I am going to share with you two products to introduce children to the Korean Language and a little to the culture itself. The first item is a wonderful book called My First Book of Korean Words: An ABC Rhyming Book by Henry J. Amen IV and Kyubyong Park. I love this book (and the others similar to it from other countries like Japanese and Chinese which I have previously reviewed) because it is a wonderful introduction for young children to the language as well as to the country. For example we learn that Koreans often eat vegetables and rice for breakfast, and that they believe there is a rabbit in the moon like we say there is a man in the moon. This book has beautiful illustrations and have the word in Korean letters with the pronunciation and then the English. The words go along with the English alphabet and the book mentions which letters are not in the Korean language.

The October Line Up

Have you entered my current giveaway yet?

What an exciting month, October looks to be!! Autumn is in the air in New England. The days are cooler and the leaves are turning their beautiful fall colors. October is also the month many of us go pink for breast cancer awareness. Oh, wait, I'm already pink! However if you want to see some statistics and facts about breast cancer check out my post from a couple of years ago.

This month, I have several fall and Halloween crafts to share. Some are previewed in my collage above. I have several reviews to do with giveaways (like my current giveaway that ends on the 6th). I will be continuing my celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and will be following Multicultural Kid Blogs with their celebration of both Hispanic Heritage Month and their one year birthday celebration. I will also be posting over there this month.

And of course we have our normal special events like Virtual Book Club for Kids. This month's author is Nick Sharratt.

Nick Sharratt is a fun British author and illustrator. Many of his books rhyme and they tend to be quick reads. I know the few we have looked at, we have enjoyed. I hope you will join us on the 14th to see which we are sharing!

We will also be "traveling" to Korea with Around the World in 12 Dishes. If you want to have a headstart, you can get the passports and placemat for Korea already. More about Korea when we use some stories and more to go with the food we try. Our post will be live October 15th.

I hope you will come back to see some of these fun things!! Happy October!!

Asian Kites

Hazel has been asking to fly a kite for awhile. Somehow whenever we are at my parents, it does not happen. They live near a beach and usually have more wind (and less trees and power lines) than us. Plus my father has some kites or at least he thinks he does. Well I bought her a cheap Disney Princesses kite and we are taking it to my parents' house this weekend. She is so excited. I told her by having her making paper kites in Asian styles with me first. I was really excited to find Asian Kites by Wayne Hosking at our local library.

All of the styles of kites we made came from this book. The book explains how to make real kites with Silkspan, however I was not looking to make kites to fly, but kites to show Hazel different styles from the Asian countries. We made them with paper and streamers. In fact we used leftover black streamers from Oriental Trading that we reviewed in our Minnie Mouse Pinata post. We also substituted drinking straws for the balsa wood to strengthen the kites. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons
The book has a bit of the history of the kite in the Introduction. Although many places say the first kite was flown in China, Asian Kites says it is actually unknown. It is believed that kites date back to two and a half to three thousand years ago. Kites also once carried messages based on their shapes, pictures or other cultural symbols. Eventually every day people began to fly them without a religious significance. There are many theories to how a kite came to be including leaves, trying to emulate birds, the wind blowing a farmer's hat and a tent or sail becoming airborne in the wind. Stories of Chinese kite flying spread through Europe thanks to Marco Polo. In the 15th and 16th centuries examples of kites were brought back from China and the East Indies. In the 18th and 19th centuries Europeans and Americans were using kites for scientific studies of natural elements including developing the flying machine. Asians were still flying kites to celebrate nature and human spirit. Many Asian cultures share their past with kite festivals as well as kite tours.

China gets to boast the first written record of a kite flying dating back to 196 B.C.E. The description tells how the Chinese general Han Hsin flew a kite to help calculate the distance his army would have to tunnel to escape. There are many legends of how the Chinese attempted to use kites in battle. The Chinese also used them for cultural and religious significances. With the invention of paper by Tsai Lun, kites became  a universal folk art and possible for all people to enjoy flying. From a Kite Day Festival to scaring away evil spirits at grave sites, the Chinese have a rich history of kite flying. Today China has six main kite regions. Each region uses a unique kite style. October is the traditional month for kite flying, but due to favorable winds kite flying season usually runs from the Chinese New Year through Qingming, the day for mourning the dead on April 5. 

We chose to make the Butterfly kite. The book describes it as a fair to good flier in light to gentle breezes. The Chinese often make and fly Butterfly kites because they represent beauty and a free spirit. There is also an old saying: "Only the greatest artists go to heaven to paint butterfly wings.

Kites have a long history in Malaysia as well. In fact some scholars believe Malaysia may have been the birthplace of kites. In Malaysia kites are called wau. A legend from the state of Kedah say the knowledge of how to build a kite is an effort to appease the heavens. If you visit northern Malaysia any time from April to June you will most likely see colorful kites flying. During this time they have monsoon winds which are strong enough to fly large kites and also it is after the rice harvest and is a time when farmers and fishermen celebrate life.

We chose to make the Mini Wau. The Mini Wau is a child's kite that is often flown from a stick. Since they believe the wau is a gift from the gods, they fly them in hopes of good fortune. This one I made out of tissue paper which the book said could be used instead of lightweight Silkspan.

Kite flying is very popular in Thailand as well. Oral tradition puts kite flying back in the 13th century when Thailand became a country. The earliest recording of kite flying was a ritual priests performed. They were also part of fighting war as well as just a love of the entire country. Kites often were entangled with the roofs of the royal palace. Eventually there was an edict forbidding flying kites over the palace. Based on a challenge of King Rammi II, a traditional kite game is established and is now a national sport held each March in front of the royal palace. 

We chose to make the Thai Fish kite. It is said to be a fair to good flier in gentle to moderate breezes. The fish is a major source of food in Thailand. It is second only to rice and since both are associated with water they are said to belong together. The fish often represents abundance.

Korea may have gotten kites from China during the period of the Three Kingdoms. Kites are called Yeon in Korea. Kites have not changed much in Korea over the centuries. Kite flying is part of many ceremonies and once again there are many stories of how kites were used. The kite flying season closely relates to the agricultural cycle. Koreans begin flying kites on the first day of the lunar calendar and the kite season lasts for fifteen days. There is also an annual custom of kite fighting. Kite fighting involves trying to cut the other kites' strings. They do not attach blades of any kind, but use skill of the flier and the specially prepared string to do this. Once cut, the freed kite belong to whomever can capture it. They have special kites for kite fighting called a bangpae-yeon or shield kite. There are also special kites to fly on the fifteenth day of the lunar calendar to fight off evil. Traditionally the flier of these kites releases the line after all of the line is out. These special kites include the aeg-mag-i-yon and song-aeg-yon. 

We chose to make the Ga-o-ri-yon or ray fish kite. It is fair to good flier in light to gentle breezes. It is a rhombus shape and resembles a sting ray in the sky. It is typical of children's kites all over Asia. 

During the seventh century Japanese civil servants brought the knowledge of kites and paper from China. Kites held a special importance in Japan and only the privileged class and monks could fly them. The monks used them to keep evil spirits away and invoke a rich harvest. The Japanese considered kites a way to carry petitions to the spirit gods. It is also a traditional Japanese belief that a destroyed kite's soul is released  and is free to be reborn in another kite. There are many Japanese folk stories involving kites. There are approximately 340 different traditional kites made in forty-two districts of Japan. Families share their heritage today through kites on special days like New Year's Day and Children's Day. There are also kite battles in May and June.

We decided to make a kao-no-tako or octopus kite. It is a fair to good flier in gentle to moderate breezes. It comes from Sanjo in Niigato (Japan's west coast). Tako means both octopus and kite. During the Edo Period, kite makers often hung these octopus-shaped kites in front of their stores as a sign of their occupation. 

Those are our Asian kites and some of the things we discovered about kites in Asia thanks to Asian Kites. Over the weekend I hope to share what we have learned about Children's Day in Japan as well as our craft of a carp wind sock (often mistaken for a kite). 

We are sharing this at the Multicultural Kids Blog Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Hop. If you missed our post co-hosting this blog hop, we shared some Asian-Pacific Island crafts and stories we have done and read to learn more about the cultures in that part of the world.

For more Asian-Pacific Island crafts and stories, check out: