Weifang, renowned as the world capital of kites, is a rising tourism city in East China’s Shandong Province. It is the headquarters of the International Kite Federation and hosts the International Kite Festival every year. This tranquil and clean city is the transport juncture of Shandong Peninsula, and is located 183 kilometers west of Jinan (the capital city of Shandong Province) and 410 kilometers northwest of Beijing. Weifang lies against Yi Mountain to the south, faces Bohai Sea to the north, and borders the famous coastal cities Qingdao and Yantai to the east.
Weifang has a long history. Human inhabitation of Weifang dates back to the Neolithic period. It is the hometown of many well-known figures, including Emperor Shun of the Three Sovereigns and the Five Emperors period, the politician Yan Ying of the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC to 476 BC), the Confucian scholar Zheng Xuan of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25 AD to 220 AD), the agriculturist Jia Simiao of the Northern Wei Dynasty (386 AD to 534 AD), and the artist Zhang Zeduan of the North Song Dynasty (960 AD to 1127 AD), whose masterpiece Along the River during the Qingming Festival is displayed in the Imperial Palace of Beijing.
Rich history endows Weifang with thousands of cultural relic sites and ancient buildings and stone inscriptions. Among them, three are under national protection and twenty-seven are under provincial protection, including Shihu Garden (from the Late Ming and early Qing Dynasties), Fangong Pavilion (from the Song Dynasty), fossil sites (including dinosaur fossils in Shanwang, Linqu), the Yangjiabu Folk Grand Viewing Garden (the woodcut New Year Painting from Yangjiabu are well known), and the Old Dragon Spring.
Weifang is a historical city in the handcraft industry of China and has gained equal fame with Suzhou of Zhejiang Province since the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty. It was China’s largest kite and Chinese woodcut New Year painting producing area and distribution center during the past dynasties. The folk-custom and the technique of kite and Chinese woodcut New Year painting are well-preserved and are concentrated in Weifang. With abundant folk-custom resources, Weifang has promoted itself as the first and an influential folk-custom tour destination since the 1980s, and attracts many tourists from other places in China and abroad every year.