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|BEIJING Air VaporMax Flyknit Moc Pas Cher , Jan. 12 (Xinhuanet) -- Pigeon racing is again taking flight in China, after centuries of fluttering between being grounded and soaring.
The practice was banned as a ""capitalist pastime"" in China during the ""cultural revolution"" (1966-76) but made a comeback soon after. It went to greater heights during China's reform and opening-up in the 1980s, when there was an influx of foreign breeds in major Chinese cities.
However, although pigeon racing originated in the West, the sport has its own roots in China Air VaporMax Moc 2 Pas Cher , where breeding is an ancient tradition.
According to historical records, pigeons are among the country's first domesticated birds. People began raising them for entertainment in the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25-220). This continued during the Tang (AD 618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties, when the birds joined royal families' pet pools.
Some were trained to carry messages. They became the most reliable means of communication in ancient China because they could be easily trained to fly to a specific place.
People in today's Guangdong province began to use messenger pigeons in the Sui Dynasty (AD 581-618). The practice became more prevalent in the following Tang Dynasty. Emperor Li Shimin kept a messenger pigeon that flew 285 kilometers between Xi'an and Luoyang several times a week.
Pigeon racing is believed to have first taken off in China in Guangdong at the end of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
The earliest race recorded was in 1521. A man from Chaozhou in Guangdong bought a pair of purple-feather pigeons from Central China's Henan province and took them to various races.
The pigeons didn't let him down. He used the prize money to breed and sell more racing pigeons and became rich.
Guangdong Xin Yu (The Guangdong News Records) also states that a pigeon racing association was set up in Foshan in 1644. They ran races in which pigeons had to fly three journeys - a bit like a triathlon.
In the early years of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), pigeon racing became more common.
As the number of competitions increased, more breeds were created Air VaporMax Flyknit 2.0 Pas Cher , greatly improving Chinese pigeons' traits. The best-known breeds then were the Chinese blue and pink-gray, and the Beijing dots. Pigeon fanciers in Europe and Japan began crossbreeding these with their own birds.
However, because private associations were banned in the mid- and late Qing Dynasty, racing organizations disbanded and the sport gradually faded. It was revived in the 1930s in Shanghai and Hangzhou, when the endemic Li and Yang species were used for racing. Pigeon associations returned Air VaporMax 97 Pas Cher , and fanciers started introducing breeds from Europe, mostly from Belgium and Germany.
Following a hiatus during the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45), the pursuit thrived again and - after some ups and downs - has reached new heights. Exchanges with pigeon breeders in the West are the most frequent in history.
The number of pigeon owners is soaring. The Beijing Racing Pigeon Association alone boasts more than 30,000 registered members.
Passion for competition, coupled with lucrative prizes Air VaporMax CS Pas Cher , has become the wind beneath pigeon racing's wings.
(Source: China Daily)
LONDON: Louis van Gaal won't be suffering a sleepless night as the new Manchester United manager awaits his Premier League bow in Saturday's season opener against Swansea. Van Gaal will get his first taste of the English top-flight at Old Trafford, but the confident Dutchman insists he hasn't felt any nerves at the start of one of the toughest challenges of his career.
Manchester United's manager Louis Van Gaal signs autographs before a pre-season friendly match against Valencia, at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England, on August 12 Air VaporMax Flyknit Femme Pas Cher , 2014 (AFP PhotoPaul Ellis)
The 63-year-old has impressed in his first four weeks at the United helm, overseeing five wins and a draw in pre-season, but it is in the league that his achievements will be judged. Swansea were one of eight teams who came to Old Trafford and won during the dismal reign of his predecessor David Moyes last season, creating a sense of vulnerability that van Gaal has been hired to banish for good.
Last season United were noticeably short of the swagger they so often displayed when Alex Ferguson was in charge and van Gaal has pledged to restore that confident attitude as he looks to get his new team back into the top four.
Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger (2nd R) speaks to his players during a team training session at the Emirates stadium in north London, on August 7 Air VaporMax Flyknit Homme Pas Cher , 2014 (AFP PhotoLeon Neal)
""I am very confident. I am not nervous, don't you see it?"" Van Gaal said. ""I am not worried. The most important thing is the fans shall understand how we play and the way of playing will give pleasure to them.""
Wayne Rooney will lead United out for the first time since being named captain after Tuesday's 2-1 friendly win over Valencia. But United will have to make do without Dutch striker Robin van Persie, who is short of fitness after his post-World Cup holiday, as well as new left-back Luke Shaw, midfielder Michael Carrick Air VaporMax Flyknit Pas Cher , striker Danny Welbeck and defender Jonny Evans.
While the first day of the van Gaal revolution will attract worldwide attention, Arsenal's Arsene Wenger, the league's longest serving boss, launches his assault on the league title at home to managerless Crystal Palace. Having ended a nine-year trophy drought by winning last season's FA Cup, Wenger's side gave an eye-catching demonstration of their title credentials by outclassing league champions Manchester City 3-0 in last weekend's Community Shield.
Manchester City's Stevan Jovetic kicks the ball during their FA Community Shield match against Arsenal Air VaporMax Laceless Pas Cher , at Wembley Stadium in north London, on August 10, 2014 (AFP PhotoCarl Court)
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