Chinese Traditional Folk Entertainments-Athletic Games
Tug-of-war was also known as pulling a hook or tugging a hook in the ancient times. It can be traced hack to late Spring and Autumn Period and early Warring States Period when the army of Chu employed a rope with a hook on one end to train soldiers to catch hold of their enemy’s war chariots and boats. Later, it developed into a sport and popular folk custom. Tug-of-war was initially prevalent in the middle and in,vet reaches of the Yangtze River. While playing tug-of-war, both sides extend their utmost efforts in time with drum beating. Both participants and audience joyously shout to boost the pullers’ morale, presenting a grand and liveliest scene. A flag stuck in the ground as the demarcation, the party who pulls the rope over the demarcation to its own side is the winter.
A bronze drum of Spring and Autumn Period was unearthed in the Yin County, Zhejiang Province, on which racing beat lines were found. It can be inferred that dragon-boat racing has its origin from the Spring and Autumn Period in the South. Archaeological researchers also found racing boat pictures on the bronze dram of the Han Dynasty unearthed at Stone Village Mountain in Yunnan Province. According to ancient records, the dragon boat in the Ming and Qing Dynasties was 10 zhang (about 33 meters) in length with 16 oars on either side. On the racing boat, drums are arranged to boost up the morale of the race attendants and the atmosphere. Bladders of pig, live ducks or geese afloat on the surface of the river work ~s live marks instead of fixed poles of the dead marks. Many fleeting boats struggle for them, making the race more interesting and appealing. Legend goes that Qu Yuan, a senior official in Chu, was unfortunately slandered and forced to exile and took his own life by jumping into the Miluo River on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month. People in Chu were in great sorrow after hearing the new and they drove boats to rescue him. The custom of dragon boat racing on that day was then formed and has gradually become a sport event.
Other Sport Gangs
Various sport activities exist in almost every historical period and the background of each culture. The long standing Chinese civilization has given birth to its own culture of Chinese sports. When ancient Greeks hosted the Olympic Games, some of the sport activities were similar to what existed in the ancient times of China, such as: horsemanship, skills of penetrating, resisting skills, military skills in martial arts, hunting, tanning, jumping and some water sports. Meanwhile, such sport games as cuju (ancient Chinese football), nongwan, cockfight, dog racing, etc. were also getting popular in the developed areas of China.
When the Western countries held spearing, racing and other matches, the most popular sport in the old China was the ” lishe”. Its scale, form and organization enjoyed a high recommendation like any other forms of the sport competitions. Even today, it has a high value of research in the area of the sport literature. Through the display of lishe, people will certainly have a deeper understanding of the ancient Chinese sports culture and they may have a brand new expectation for the culture of sports to reach the “harmonious” realm.